startle(redirected from startlingness)
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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.