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90s Slang You Should Know


[stahrv-ling] /ˈstɑrv lɪŋ/
a person, animal, or plant that is starving.
starving; suffering from lack of nourishment.
pining with want.
poor in condition or quality.
such as to entail or suggest starvation.
Origin of starveling
First recorded in 1540-50; starve + -ling1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for starveling
Historical Examples
  • They were mad with lust of life, a starveling life that the King had taxed, when he let not the Apura go.

    The World's Desire H. Rider Haggard and Andrew Lang
  • You never could get a starveling like Scott Brenton out of sight of your conscience.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • The suburb of Cottonville bordered a creek, a starveling, wet-weather stream which offered the sole suggestion of sewerage.

    The Power and the Glory Grace MacGowan Cooke
  • That would be too much for a starveling like you; would you not like other meat?

  • Your starveling hinds and villains are rank naught for march or battle-field.

  • This starveling mountebank was old, impudent, and repulsively cheery.

    The Death of the Gods Dmitri Mrejkowski
  • Growing bolder, the starveling growled; the tiger struck at him with his paw, and the dog fled howling with fear.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • The parvenu journalist will be succeeded by the starveling hack.

  • He will have poor turnips and starveling wheat, and kill his fields with undue apportionments of guano and bonedust.

    Around The Tea-Table T. De Witt Talmage
  • Your halma man as you buy him in a box is ever a bit of a starveling.

    Wings and the Child E. [Edith] Nesbit
British Dictionary definitions for starveling


  1. a starving or poorly fed person, animal, etc
  2. (as modifier): a starveling child
insufficient; meagre; scant
Word Origin
C16: from starve + -ling1
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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