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Webster 1913 Edition


Startle

Star′tle

(stär′t’l)
,
Verb.
I.
[
imp. & p. p.
Startled
(stär′t’ld)
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Startling
(stär′tlĭng)
.]
[Freq. of
start
.]
To move suddenly, or be excited, on feeling alarm; to start.
Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and
startles
at destruction?
Addison.

Star′tle

(stär′t’l)
,
Verb.
T.
1.
To excite by sudden alarm, surprise, or apprehension; to frighten suddenly and not seriously; to alarm; to surprise.
The supposition, at least, that angels do sometimes assume bodies need not
startle
us.
Locke.
2.
To deter; to cause to deviate.
[R.]
Clarendon.
Syn. – To start; shock; fright; frighten; alarm.

Star′tle

,
Noun.
A sudden motion or shock caused by an unexpected alarm, surprise, or apprehension of danger.
After having recovered from my first
startle
, I was very well pleased with the accident.
Spectator.

Webster 1828 Edition


Startle

STARTLE

,
Verb.
I.
[dim. of start.] To shrink; to move suddenly or be excited on feeling a sudden alarm.
Why shrinks the soul back on herself, and startles at destruction?

STARTLE

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To impress with fear; to excite by sudden alarm, surprise or apprehension; to shock; to alarm; to fright. We were startled at the cry of distress. Any great and unexpected event is apt to startle us.
The supposition that angles assume bodies, need not startle us.
2.
To deter; to cause to deviate. [Little used.]

STARTLE

,
Noun.
A sudden motion or shock occasioned by an unexpected alarm, surprise or apprehension of danger; sudden impression of terror.
After having recovered from my first startle, I was well pleased with the accident.

Definition 2022


startle

startle

English

Verb

startle (third-person singular simple present startles, present participle startling, simple past and past participle startled)

  1. (intransitive) To move suddenly, or be excited, on feeling alarm; to start.
    a horse that startles easily
    • Joseph Addison (1672-1719)
      Why shrinks the soul / Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
  2. (transitive) To excite by sudden alarm, surprise, or apprehension; to frighten suddenly and not seriously; to alarm; to surprise.
    • John Locke (1632-1705)
      The supposition, at least, that angels do sometimes assume bodies need not startle us.
    • 1896, Joseph Conrad, "An Outcast of the Islands"
      Nothing could startle her, make her scold or make her cry. She did not complain, she did not rebel.
    • 1997, R. L. Stine, Say Cheese and Die, Again!:
      The high voice in the night air startled me. Without thinking, I started to run. Then stopped. I spun around, my heart heaving against my chest. And saw a boy. About my age.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To deter; to cause to deviate.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Clarendon to this entry?)

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

startle (plural startles)

  1. A sudden motion or shock caused by an unexpected alarm, surprise, or apprehension of danger.
    • 1845, George Hooker Colton, James Davenport Whelpley, chapter 1, in The American review:
      The figure of a man heaving in sight amidst these wide solitudes, always causes a startle and thrill of expectation and doubt, similar to the feeling produced by the announcement of " a strange sail ahead" on shipboard, during a long voyage.

Derived terms

Translations

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