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Related to start out: start off
To be at the beginning or very early stages of some endeavor or occupation. I've only started out with the hobby, but I'm really enjoying it so far. She gave me a lot of great advice when I was just starting out in journalism. I started out studying archeology, but I changed majors to political science in my sophomore year.
start out (on something)
1. To begin undertaking some journey or process. The group of explorers started out on an ambitious trip across Antarctica. Sure, I'm successful now, but I was broke and constantly on the brink of failure when I was first starting out.
2. To begin at some point of origin in a process of development. I started out as a dishwasher here 20 years ago, but I own the place now! Every great product starts out as a great idea—you just need the ambition and determination to make it happen!
3. To instruct, cause, or compel someone to begin on something or to begin doing something as an initial starting point. A noun or pronoun is used between "start" and "out." We'll start you out on some easy tasks so you get the hang of the job before we throw you into the deep end. They're starting me out on algebra tables before we move up to anything more complicated.
4. To instruct, cause, or compel someone to begin something as an initial treatment for an illness, injury, or ailment. A noun or pronoun is used between "start" and "on." They're starting me out on physical therapy to see if it helps reduce the pain. Otherwise, I might need surgery. Let's start you out on the lowest dosage—we can always increase it if we need to.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
start someone out
(as something) Go to start someone in (as something).
start out (on something)
to begin something, such as a trip, a career, an investigation, etc. When we started out on this investigation, I never dreamed we would uncover so much. What time did you start out this morning?
to begin. Whenever you are ready, we will start out. We can't start out until Tom is here.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Set out on a trip, as in The climbers started out from base camp shortly after mid-night. [Early 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To have something as an origin; to have begun in some original form or manner: The owner started out working in the kitchen. Butterflies start out as caterpillars.
2. To begin some activity or movement: At sunrise, the hikers started out for the mountain.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.