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Definition of "startle" [star•tle]

  • To cause to make a quick involuntary movement or start. (verb-transitive)
  • To alarm, frighten, or surprise suddenly. See Synonyms at frighten. (verb-transitive)
  • To become alarmed, frightened, or surprised. (verb-intransitive)
  • A sudden mild shock; a start. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "startle" in a sentence
  • "Kim Kardashian: we am in startle that [Brittany] Murphy has died!"
  • "September 30th, 2009 Oregon dad gets trial in startle neck cuff caseSALEM, Ore."
  • "The simple reaction that "he must be wrong" because his findings surprise or even startle is simple establishment bias."