verb (used with or without object), clemmed, clem·ming. British Dialect.

to starve.

Origin of clem

1530–40; akin to Middle English forclemmed (past participle) pinched with hunger, Old English beclemman to fetter Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clemmed

Historical Examples of clemmed

  • But I can't get there; I'm most clemmed with hunger and drought.

    The Water-Babies

    Charles Kingsley

  • Why he'd a clemmed to death, if th' Union had na helped him in his pinch.

    North and South

    Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

  • From us—us that he has starved and clemmed this last two months!

  • In Yorkshire, "clemmed" means "starved," and "starved" means "perished with cold."

  • There beant nowheres such a good lad as our Reuben; and to be clemmed to death, and froze!


    Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)

British Dictionary definitions for clemmed



verb clems, clemming, clemmed, clams, clamming or clammed

(when tr, usually passive) English dialect to be hungry or cause to be hungry

Word Origin for clem

C16: of Germanic origin; related to Dutch, German klemmen to pinch, cramp; compare Old English beclemman to shut in
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