[ fam-ish ]
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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; 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

Words Nearby famish

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How to use famish in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for famish


/ (ˈfæmɪʃ) /

  1. (now usually passive) to be or make very hungry or weak

  2. archaic to die or cause to die from starvation

  1. Irish to make very cold: I was famished with the cold

Origin of famish

C14: from Old French afamer, via Vulgar Latin, from Latin famēs famine

Derived forms of famish

  • famishment, noun

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