View synonyms for startled


[ stahr-tld ]


  1. disturbed or agitated suddenly, as by surprise or alarm:

    Seeing startled herons and egrets flee at the sound of 35 teenagers was a highlight for kids who rarely see birds in their natural habitat.

  2. expressing such surprise or alarm:

    A startled cry escaped my throat as I was roughly pulled to my feet by the bodyguard.


  1. the simple past tense and past participle of startle.

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Other Words From

  • un·star·tled adjective

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Word History and Origins

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Example Sentences

Astronomers around the world were startled in late 2019 when Betelgeuse, one of the brightest stars in the sky, grew dark for several months.

Many of us have run across the startled tenant or homeowner who doesn’t get the notification about an appointment.

When I reached the waterfall, I was startled to discover that I had the place to myself for a few moments, thanks to the same reservation system that had shut me out for so long.

It promotes a startled knee-jerk response, potentially alienating people who might have been allies, and it implies an unrealistic snap-of-the- fingers simplicity for those who are willing to fight for change but can’t stomach the long haul.

A prey species, pheasants try to stick to cover and will run away from threats through that cover unless startled.

Some heads nodded in recognition of this, others look startled.

Police report that he was so startled by being tracked down so quickly that he immediately confessed.

As the family hunted for anything personal that could be retrieved, they were startled when the phone began to ring.

Though Bates was startled by these changes, he was less alarmed by them than many naturalists are today.

The Hound takes care of the rest, and Arya, startled by her actions, picks the coin back up and whispers, “Valar Morghulis.”

At first startled, her second thought was that this would be the best possible thing which could happen.

The startled operators at Umballa could obtain no further intelligence and the boy was slain at his post.

She held out her hand and the Professor was about to take it when she drew it back with a startled movement.

But I was still more startled by the action of the barman who lifted up the glass and held it whilst the man drank.

A few minutes, and he would perhaps have slipped across the border—when something startled him into sudden life again.


Related Words




startle colourstartling