Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “start up (something)”

start up (something)

(OPERATE ENGINE) phrasal verb with start    /stɑrt/ verb
to cause an engine to begin to operate: I didn't even hear the vacuum cleaner start up when Jose began cleaning the carpets. He heard the stranger start up a motorcycle.
(Definition of start up (something) (OPERATE ENGINE) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of start up (something)

Word of the Day


a person or group who receives money, advantages, etc. as a result of something else

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More