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 ?
The IAAF said: "When approved false-start detection equipment is in operation, the evidence of the equipment shall normally be accepted as conclusive by the starter.
Olympic gold medallist Allan Wells has backed the new sprinting false-start rule.
Olympic 100metres champions Maurice Greene and Marion Jones were among dozens of athletes who signed a petition opposing the proposed false-start rule change.
Facing suspension following the false-start Prix de l'Abbaye (from left) Jim Crowley, Paul Hanagan, Adrian Nicholls, Kevin Shea, Darryll Holland and Frankie Dettori
Then a false-start penalty pushed the ball back five yards and D.
Aintree, of course, is no stranger to such problems, a false-start fiasco in 1993 leading to the `race that never was' being declared void.
The Cardinal drew two false-start penalties and another delay-of-game infraction to flatline their momentum.
Those in the stands were left scratching their heads after Thompson's announcement, as the false-start flagman had not raised his flag.
DWAIN CHAMBERS put himself in pole position for the 100 metres World Championship title - but only after surviving false-start mayhem here last night.
But a false-start penalty pushed Westlake back another five yards.
Dettori insisted that he was hard done by in being accused of misleading the senior starter, Simon Morant, yet was opposed by Willie Carson, who said on BBC that the false-start decision had been wrong.
However, the Welshman was later adjudged to have infringed the new controversial false-start rule, even though he was initially cleared of the offence by meeting officials.
Same dilemma as last week - five men can't block nine - but the holding and false-start penalties were inexcusable.
MARK LEWIS-FRANCIS is sure he is ready for the new false-start rule in sprinting.