Definition of starter noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈstɑːtə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈstɑːrtər//
    Athletics, Types of meal, Dining out, Equine sports
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  1. 1(especially British English) (usually North American English appetizer) a small amount of food that is served before the main course of a meal This dish serves 4–6 people as a starter. I’ve chosen a hot starter. This dish can be served as a starter or a main course. CollocationsRestaurantsEating out eat (lunch/​dinner)/dine/​meet at/​in a restaurant go (out)/take somebody (out) for lunch/​dinner/​a meal have a meal with somebody make/​have a reservation (in/​under the name of Yamada) reserve/ (especially British English) book a table for six ask for/​request a table for two/​a table by the windowIn the restaurant wait to be seated show somebody to their table sit in the corner/​by the window/​at the bar/​at the counter hand somebody/​give somebody the menu/​wine list open/​read/​study/​peruse the menu the restaurant has a three-course set menu/​a children’s menu/​an extensive wine list taste/​sample/​try the wine the waiter takes your order order/​choose/​have the soup of the day/​one of the specials/​the house (British English) speciality/(especially North American English) specialty serve/​finish the first course/​the starter/​the main course/​dessert/​coffee complain about the food/​the service/​your meal enjoy your mealPaying pay/​ask for (especially British English) the bill/(North American English) the check pay for/​treat somebody to dinner/​lunch/​the meal service is (not) included give somebody/​leave (somebody) a tip compare hors d’oeuvre See related entries: Types of meal, Dining out
  2. 2a person, horse, car, etc. that is in a race at the beginning Only 8 of the 28 starters completed the course. compare non-starter See related entries: Equine sports
  3. 3a person who gives the signal for a race to start the starter’s gun See related entries: Athletics, Equine sports
  4. 4a device used for starting the engine of a vehicle the starter button a starter motor
  5. 5a person who begins doing a particular activity in the way mentioned He was a late starter in the theatre (= older than most people when they start). a slow starter see also self-starter
  6. 6(often used as an adjective) something that is intended to be used by somebody who is starting to do something a starter home (= a small home for somebody who is buying property for the first time) a starter kit/pack
  7. Idioms (informal) used to emphasize the first of a list of reasons, opinions, etc., or to say what happens first There are a number of problems—for starters, where is the money coming from? The winners will be flown to Paris—and that’s just for starters.
    under starter’s orders
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    (of a runner, rider, etc.) waiting for a signal to start a race
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: starter