BEGIN DOING [I, T] › to begin doing something: [+ doing sth] He started smoking when he was eighteen. [+ to do sth] Maria started to laugh. We start work at nine o'clock. BEGIN HAPPENING [I, T] › to begin to happen or to make something begin to happen: The programme starts at seven o'clock. Police believe the fire started in the kitchen. BUSINESS [I, T] (also start up) › If a business, organization, etc starts, it begins to exist, and if you start it, you make it begin to exist: She started her own computer business. A lot of new restaurants have started up in the area. CAR [I, T] (also start up) › If a car or engine starts, it begins to work, and if you start it, you make it begin to work: The car won't start. Start up the engine.
to start with › used to talk about what a situation was like at the beginning before it changed: I was happy at school to start with, but later I hated it. › used before saying the first thing in a list of things: To start with, we need better computers. Then we need more training.