verb (used with object), star·tled, star·tling.
verb (used without object), star·tled, star·tling.
Origin of startle
Synonyms for startle
Related Words for startlealarm, shock, astound, agitate, amaze, stagger, astonish, awe, stun, scare, terrify, terrorize, fright, floor, spring, spook, affright, jump, start, consternate
Examples from the Web for startle
Contemporary Examples of startle
Historical Examples of startle
I expect to learn something that will startle the Director of Police.Jennie Baxter, Journalist
The desire had been strong enough to startle him, to warn him.A Spirit in Prison
If the old man made no will, I'll maybe have summat to say as may startle them a gay bit.The Shadow of a Crime
It did not startle him; indeed, he was in a mood when nothing could have caused him wonder.Tales From Two Hemispheres
Hjalmar Hjorth Boysen
On a question so vast and vital you are bound to startle by any little measure.Another Sheaf
Word Origin for startle
c.1300, "run to and fro," frequentative of sterten (see start (v.)). Sense of "move suddenly in surprise or fear" first recorded 1520s. Transitive meaning "frighten suddenly" is from 1590s. The word retains more of the original meaning of start (v.). Related: Startled; startling.