Definition of start off phrasal verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  

start off

 phrasal verb
phrasal verb
 
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Phrasal Verbs
  1. 1  to begin to move The horse started off at a steady trot.
  2. 2  to begin happening; to begin doing something The discussion started off mildly enough.
  3. 3  to begin by doing or being something Let's start off with some gentle exercises. We started off by introducing ourselves. + adj. The leaves start off green but turn red later. start off doing something I started off working quite hard, but it didn't last.

    start somebody off (on something)

     
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  1. 1[no passive] to make somebody begin doing something What started her off on that crazy idea? Don't say anything to her—you'll start her off again (= make her get angry). start somebody off doing something Kevin started us all off laughing.
  2. 2to help somebody begin doing something My mother started me off on the piano when I was three. start somebody off doing something His father started him off farming.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: start off