1. One that starts.
2. An attachment for starting an internal-combustion engine without hand cranking. Also called self-starter.
3. A device that initiates a flow of high voltage across the electrodes of a fluorescent lamp.
a. One who signals the start of a race.
b. A participant that starts in a game or race.
a. The first pitcher for a team in a game.
b. A pitcher who regularly begins games for a team.
6. The first in a series, especially the first course of a meal; an appetizer.
7. An active culture of bacteria or fungi, especially yeast, used to induce a predictable process of fermentation in the making of certain food products, such as cheese, soy sauce, and sourdough bread.
for starters Informal
To begin with; initially: "Deborah believes him, indicating, for starters, that she isn't the brightest" (Judith Crist).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.