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start·er / ˈstärtər/ • n. a person or thing that starts an event, activity, or process, in particular: ∎ chiefly Brit. the first course of a meal; an appetizer. ∎  an automatic device for starting a machine, esp. the engine of a vehicle. ∎  a person who gives the signal for the start of a race. ∎  a horse, competitor, or player taking part in a race or game at the start: the trainer has confirmed Cool Ground as a definite starter. ∎  Baseball the pitcher who starts the game. ∎  Baseball a pitcher who normally starts games, and seldom is used as a relief pitcher. ∎  a person or thing that starts in a specified way, esp. with reference to time or speed: he was a late starter in photography I'm just a slow starter. ∎  a topic, question, or other item with which to start a group discussion or course of study: material to act as a starter for discussion. ∎  (also starter culture) a bacterial culture used to initiate souring in making yogurt, cheese, or butter. ∎  a preparation of chemicals to initiate the breakdown of vegetable matter in making compost. PHRASES: for starters inf. first of all; to start with.

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starter Culture of bacteria used to inoculate or start growth in a fermentation, e.g. milk for cheese production, or butter to develop the flavour.