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famish

[fam-ish] /ˈfæm ɪʃ/
verb (used with or without object), Archaic.
1.
to suffer or cause to suffer extreme hunger; starve.
2.
to starve to death.
Origin of famish
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English famisshe, equivalent to famen to starve (< Anglo-French, Middle French afamer < Vulgar Latin *affamāre, equivalent to Latin af- af- + famāre, derivative of famēs hunger) + -isshe -ish2
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for famishing
Historical Examples
  • I sit here babbling like a garrulous old woman while you must be famishing.

  • Millions upon millions are famishing for the bread and water of life.

    Thoughts on Missions Sheldon Dibble
  • A famishing traveller who had run down a salamander, made a fire, and laid him alive upon the hot coals to cook.

    Cobwebs From an Empty Skull Ambrose Bierce (AKA: Dod Grile)
  • A famishing man has never yet been hung for stealing to sustain life.

    Eventide Effie Afton
  • They beheld the beauty of my daughter, and they looked on her with famishing eyes.

    Charlemont W. Gilmore Simms
  • famishing lions and tigers will not approach the camp-fire to seize their prey.

    Flowers of Freethought George W. Foote
  • These were fed to the famishing dog, then closing the door he hurried back to Patchogue, where he phoned Dreamy Hollow.

    Dreamy Hollow Sumner Charles Britton
  • On reaching the river at the point where we were camped, they were famishing with hunger.

    The Awakening of the Desert Julius C. Birge
  • Beneath the chill December sky these famishing spectres had to take refuge in the open ditch below the ramparts of the town.

    The Story of Rouen Sir Theodore Andrea Cook
  • The Doctor's servant, Kilian, who is famishing, asks for food.

British Dictionary definitions for famishing

famish

/ˈfæmɪʃ/
verb
1.
(now usually passive) to be or make very hungry or weak
2.
(archaic) to die or cause to die from starvation
3.
(Irish) to make very cold: I was famished with the cold
Derived Forms
famishment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French afamer, via Vulgar Latin, from Latin famēsfamine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for famishing

famish

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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