start / stärt/ • v. 1. [intr.] come into being; begin or be reckoned from a particular point in time or space: the season starts in September we ate before the show started below Roaring Springs the real desert starts. ∎ embark on a continuing action or a new venture: I started to chat to him we plan to start building in the fall. ∎ use a particular point, action, or circumstance as an opening for a course of action: the teacher can start by capitalizing on children's curiosity I shall start with the case you mention first. ∎ [intr.] begin to move or travel: we started out into the snow he started for the door. ∎ [tr.] begin to attend (an educational establishment) or engage in (an occupation, esp. a profession): she will start school today he started work at a travel agency. ∎ begin one's working life: he started as a typesetter she started off as a general practitioner. ∎ [tr.] begin to live through (a period distinguished by a specified characteristic): they started their married life. ∎ cost at least a specified amount: fees start at around $300. 2. [tr.] cause (an event or process) to happen: two men started the blaze that caused the explosion those women started all the trouble. ∎ bring (a project or an institution) into being; cause to take effect or begin to work or operate: I'm starting a campaign to get the law changed. ∎ cause (a machine) to begin to work: we had trouble starting the car he starts up his van. ∎ [intr.] (of a machine or device) begin operating or being used: the noise of a tractor starting up there was a moment of silence before the organ started. ∎ cause or enable (someone or something) to begin doing or pursuing something: his father started him off in business| [tr.] what he said started me thinking. ∎ give a signal to (competitors) to start in a race. 3. [intr.] give a small jump or make a sudden jerking movement from surprise or alarm: “Oh my!” she said, starting. ∎ [intr.] poetic/lit. move or appear suddenly: she had seen Meg start suddenly from a thicket. ∎ (of eyes) bulge so as to appear to burst out of their sockets: his eyes started out of his head like a hare's. ∎ be displaced or displace by pressure or shrinkage: [intr.] the mortar in the joints had started. ∎ [tr.] rouse (game) from its lair. • n. [in sing.] 1. the point in time or space at which something has its origin; the beginning of something: he takes over as chief executive at the start of next year the event was a shambles from start to finish his bicycle was found close to the start of a forest trail. ∎ the point or moment at which a race begins. ∎ an act of beginning to do or deal with something: I can make a start on cleaning up an early start enabled us to avoid the traffic. ∎ used to indicate that a useful initial contribution has been made but that more remains to be done: if he would tell her who had put him up to it, it would be a start. ∎ a person's position or circumstances at the beginning of their life, esp. a position of advantage: she's anxious to give her baby the best start in life. ∎ an advantage consisting in having set out in a race or on journey earlier than one's rivals or opponents: he would have a ninety-minute start on them. 2. a sudden movement of surprise or alarm: she awoke with a start the woman gave a nervous start. PHRASES: don't start (or don't you start) inf. used to tell someone not to grumble or criticize: don't start—I do my fair share. for a start inf. used to introduce or emphasize the first or most important of a number of considerations: this side is at an advantage—for a start, there are more of them. get the start of dated gain an advantage over. start a family conceive one's first child. start something inf. cause trouble. to start with at the beginning of a series of events or period of time: she wasn't very keen on the idea to start with. ∎ as the first thing to be taken into account: to start with, I was feeling down. PHRASAL VERBS: start in inf. begin doing something, esp. talking: people groan when she starts in about her acting ambitions. ∎ (start in on) begin to do or deal with: you vacuum the stairs and I'll start in on the laundry. ∎ (start in on) attack verbally; begin to criticize: before you start in on me, let me explain. start off (or start someone/something off) begin (or cause someone or something to begin) working, operating, or dealing with something: treatment should start off with attention to diet what started you off on this search? ∎ (start off) begin a meal: she started off with soup. start on 1. begin to work on or deal with: I'm starting on a new book. 2. inf. begin to talk to someone, esp. in a critical or hostile way: she started on about my not having nice furniture. start out (or up) embark on a venture or undertaking, esp. a commercial one: the company will start out with a hundred employees. start over make a new beginning: could you face going back to school and starting over?
The START I Treaty, signed just months before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, could only be ratified by Russia and the United States after agreements were reached with Ukraine and Belarus, also successors to the Soviet Union, that those states would relinquish Soviet strategic nuclear arms on their territory and commit themselves to join the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons as nonnuclear weapons states. The START I Treaty then went into effect in December 1994. Under this treaty, the United States reduced its ballistic missile warheads by about one‐third, and Russia by about one‐half, to totals (not specified) of about 8,000–10,000 for each side.
The START II Treaty is more ambitious, not only providing for considerably deeper reductions but also for the elimination of all MIRV warheads on land‐based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). Overall, each side would be limited to no more than 3,500 strategic warheads. Bomber nuclear weapons are also counted on a more realistic basis, and hence its warhead levels were real rather than nominal.
At present, the START II Treaty has yet to be ratified by Russia, not so much owing to its terms (although some Russians object to the need to scrap all existing land‐based MIRV missile systems due to uncertainties with respect to continued U.S. observance of the ABM Treaty and a general deterioration of U.S.‐Russian relations). In addition, the START I reductions, and still more the prospective additional large START II reductions in Russian ICBM systems, pose a heavy burden in dismantling and destroying such systems under START procedures intended to assure verification.
Further reductions in Russian strategic forces, and to a much lesser extent U.S. systems, will proceed even without ratification of START II, given the inevitable obsolescence and the lack of ready replacements. But the elimination of land‐based MIRV systems, especially in Russia, and the large reduction in submarine‐launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), especially in the United States, will not take place for some years unless START II is ratified or until there is at least tacit agreement to proceed as though it had been ratified (as occurred with the SALT II Treaty).
[See also Arms Control and Disarmament; Arms Race: Nuclear Arms Race; INF Treaty.]
Kerry M. Kartchner , Negotiating START: Strategic Arms Reduction Talks and the Quest for Strategic Stability, 1992.
Raymond L. Garthoff
A. †leap, jump (OE); move with a sudden or violent impulse; issue swiftly XIII; make a sudden involuntary movement; break away XVI; set out for a race XVII; set out on a journey;
B. cause to move in such ways XIV. ME. sterte, starte, stürte, repr. OE. *stiertan or *steortian, *styrtan (perh. seen in late Nhb. prp. sturtende), f. Gmc. *stert- *start- *sturt-, repr. also by (M)LG. störten, (M)Du. storten, OHG. sturzen (G. stürzen) overthrow, pour out, rush, fall headlong.