famish

[fam-ish]

verb (used with or without object) Archaic.

to suffer or cause to suffer extreme hunger; starve.
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
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Related Words for famish

abstain, forbear, diet, refrain, starve

Examples from the Web for famish

Historical Examples of famish


British Dictionary definitions for famish

famish

verb

(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
Derived Formsfamishment, noun

Word Origin for famish

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

Word Origin and History for 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