start off(redirected from start them off)
1. To begin traveling; to start a journey. We were just about to start off when I realized that I had forgotten my passport. Let's start off soon—I'd like to get to the campsite before sundown.
2. To do some particular task or action as a means of beginning some process. A noun or pronoun can be used between "start" and "off." Lets' start the meeting off by going around and introducing ourselves. I don't think you should start off the presentation with an anecdote like that.
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 "off." We'll start you off with some easy tasks so you get the hang of the job before we throw you into the deep end. They started me off washing dishes, but said they would train me to be a cook once I'd been there for a couple months.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
start someone off (on something)
to cause someone to begin on a task or job. I have to start Jeff off on this task, then I will talk to you. I will start off my workers on the job tomorrow.
start off(on something)
1. to begin a series or sequence. Today I start off on the first volume of my trilogy. I am ready to start off now.
2. to begin a journey. When do we start off on our trip? I'm ready to start off. What about you?
(by doing something) to begin a process by doing a particular thing first. Can I start off by singing the school song? That's a good way to start off.
to begin; to set out on a journey. When do you want to start off? We will start off as soon as we can get everything packed.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Set out on a trip, as in We plan to start off in the morning. [Early 1800s] Also see start out.
2. start someone off. Cause someone to set out or to begin something, as in Mother packed their lunches and started them off, or Paul started them off on their multiplication tables. [Early 1700s] For start off on the right foot, see get off on the right foot.
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 begin in a specified way: The company started off with only two employees. Let's start off with an appetizer. The director of the play had started off as a stagehand 30 years ago.
2. To begin a journey: The climbers started off after breakfast.
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.