In a race, the act of starting to run, swim, etc. before the official signal has been given.
Webster's New World
A violation of the rules governing the start of play in which a player moves from a set position before play is initiated, especially a rule violation in football in which an offensive player other than the center moves from a set position before the ball is snapped.
A misguided or unsuccessful attempt to begin something.
Wrote the first paragraph after several false starts.
(sports) The starting of a race before being signaled to do so.