- to suffer or cause to suffer extreme hunger; starve.
- to starve to death.
Origin of famish
Examples from the Web for famish
I sat on a hay-stack, and spoke nothing for some hours; for I was to famish them from words.George Fox
Never varlets So triumph'd o'er an old fat man: I was famish'd.The Plays of Philip Massinger
Already languishing from sheer fatigue, must she now famish also?A Gentleman Player
Robert Neilson Stephens
I famish to begin again—and I will make time for that, and the girls too!The Young Step-Mother
Charlotte M. Yonge
Relief must soon come from some quarter, else many in this community will famish.A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital
John Beauchamp Jones
- (now usually passive) to be or make very hungry or weak
- archaic to die or cause to die from starvation
- Irish to make very coldI was famished with the cold
Word Origin and History for famish
c.1400, famyschen, alteration of famen (late 14c.), a shortening of Old French afamer, from Vulgar Latin *affamare "to bring to hunger," from ad famem, from Latin fames "hunger" (see famine).
Ending changed mid-14c. to -ish under influence of ravish, anguish, etc. The intransitive sense is from 1520s. Related: Famished; famishing.