[ fam-isht ]
/ ˈfæm ɪʃt /


extremely hungry: to be famished after a hike; famished, homeless multitudes.

Origin of famished

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at famish, -ed2

Related forms

half-fam·ished, adjective

Definition for famished (2 of 2)


[ fam-ish ]
/ ˈfæm ɪʃ /

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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Examples from the Web for famished

British Dictionary definitions for famished


/ (ˈfæmɪʃ) /


(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 Forms

famishment, 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