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English definition of “false start”

false start

noun [C usually singular] uk   us  

false start noun [C usually singular] (RACE)

the start of a race in which one competitor starts too early, before the official signal to begin: If an athlete makes a false start, the race must be restarted.

false start noun [C usually singular] (PROBLEM)

an attempt to do something that fails because you are not ready or not able to do it: We had a couple of false starts because of computer problems, but now the project is really under way.
(Definition of false start from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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