false start

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false start

1. In a sporting event, a situation in which one player or team begins before the official signal has been given. The team was issued a penalty by the referee after the false start.
2. An unsuccessful attempt to begin something. After several false starts, Gina was finally able to make some progress in writing her term paper.
See also: false, start

false start

A wrong beginning, as in After several false starts she finally managed to write the first chapter. The term originated in racing, where it refers to beginning a race before the starting signal has been given. The expression was soon transferred to other kinds of failed beginning. [Early 1800s]
See also: false, start

(make) a false ˈstart

an attempt to begin something that is not successful: After a few false starts, I finally managed to work the fax machine.He made a few false starts early on in his acting career, but then found success with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
In sport, a false start is a situation when a competitor in a race starts before the official signal has been given.
See also: false, start
References in periodicals archive ?
Notably, why was the race declared a false start in the first place and why did it take so long to call a halt?
USAIN Bolt's quest to become an athletics legend took a stunning blow last night when the triple Olympic champion was disqualified from the 100 metres final at the World Championships for a false start.
A dejected Usain Bolt after being disqualified Jamaica''s Usain Bolt, fourth from bottom, false starts from the men''s 100m final at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu
He was delayed by a false start and then a faulty start before striding to victory ahead of fellow Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Michael Frater.
Williamson, who was third in the trials, and Craig Pickering - disqualified for a false start in Sheffield - are now set to join Chambers in the team for Turin from March 6-8.
Meanwhile, Irvin, who made his first start in place of injured Shannon Tevaga, was flagged for a false start on UCLA's third possession.
And when it comes to the music the accomplished five-piece from Edinburgh can more than make up for the odd false start.
The second false start saw big threat Morne Nagel disqualified, and Gardener, whose big target is a major outdoors medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March, said worries over the start probably cost him.
And when Marcus describes the recording of the song, in June 1965, with all its false starts and dead ends, we see how perilously close it came to never existing at all: "The singer is trying to find his way into his song, plinking notes on the piano.
After several false starts, the two researchers achieved success.
There have been some false starts for the economy, and hopes have been raised, only to have the optimism dashed as the economy slowed down again.
A 100-yard dash final in which all of the contestants were disqualified for false starts.
The word processor gives me the obsessive freedom to hang on to all of those false starts and, sometimes, cull the best parts of them into my final copy.
Her consuming interest is her subject's earlier life of seeming total instability: married at age 15 to an effete and dissolute first cousin; running from the 1917 Bolshevik revolution to Finlald, England, France; landing in Canada in the late 1920s; starting a "friendship house" for the poor in Toronto and seeing it aborted; trying again among the blacks of Harlem, New York, where she was among the first to confront Catholic discrimination against black people; moving on to the poor in Chicago; then marriage annulment and remarriage, leading to estrangement from her Chicago workers; finally, fleeing in desperation to a property in the Ontario forests to escape from what appeared to have been nothing but false starts in a stubborn lay woman's quest to seek God and serve her neighbour.
Christie was thrown out for two false starts before Donovan Bailey of Canada won gold in a world and Olympic time of 9.