startle

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startle

/star·tle/ (stahr´tl)
1. to make a quick involuntary movement as in alarm, surprise, or fright.
2. to become alarmed, surprised, or frightened.

startle

(stăr′tĕl) [ME. sterten, stand up stiffly; move quickly]
A response to a sudden stimulus marked by jerking body movements and some or all of the following: defensive posture, tremors, sweating, widened pupils, and a temporary increase in pulse and respiratory rates.
References in classic literature ?
I mean, each woman's right to her liberty--" He pulled himself up, startled by the turn his thoughts had taken, and went on, looking at her with a smile: "Since you understand so many things, dearest, can't you go a little farther, and understand the uselessness of our submitting to another form of the same foolish conventionalities?
Mixed with the ape's voice the lion's roars of rage and pain reverberated through the jungle, till the lesser creatures of the wild, startled from their peaceful pursuits, scurried fearfully away.
The scream that had startled von Horn and Professor Maxon led them along the trail toward the east coast of the island, and about halfway of the distance they stumbled upon the dazed and bloody Sing just as he was on the point of regaining consciousness.
A flash of lightning startled the gentlemen when they went to the window to look out: the thunderstorm began.
I felt that it startled you when you touched it just now.
Upon the beach, we skinned the deer and cut away as much meat as we thought we could dispose of, and as we were again embarking to continue up the river for fresh water and fuel, we were startled by a series of screams from the bushes a short distance away.
Curious to see what had startled her so, I looked towards the window - for her eyes had been carelessly fixed upon it the moment before - and just beheld the skirts of a man's coat vanishing behind a large holly-bush that stood between the window and the porch.
I demanded, with an abruptness that in turn startled her.
not upon himself and his shadow,--all at once he startled and shrank back: for he saw another shadow beside his own.
Saxon was startled by the wildest scream of terror she had evor heard.
Elizabeth would have been startled and embarrassed if she could have read his thoughts, for they might have suggested to her that she was becoming a great deal fonder of Bill than the shortness of their acquaintance warranted.
It was done in a moment, in a noiseless, supple, cat-like way, which a little startled me, I own.