a false start

a false start

a failed attempt to begin an activity or event
Usage notes: In a race, a false start is when one person starts before the signal has been given.
After a false start when he left his first job after only a week, he was offered some modelling work.
See also: false, start
References in classic literature ?
I wouldn't have this double handicap make a false start to-night for a million," he said.
She made a false start with the Wilcoxes, and she'll be as willing as we are to have nothing more to do with them.