v. star·tled, star·tling, star·tles
1. To cause to make a quick involuntary movement or start.
2. To alarm, frighten, or surprise suddenly. See Synonyms at frighten.
To become alarmed, frightened, or surprised.
1. A sudden, brief episode of fear.
2. A sudden, involuntary movement in response to something frightening or unexpected, such as a noise.
[Middle English stertlen, to run about, from Old English steartlian, to kick; see ster-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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