starve

[stahrv]
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verb (used without object), starved, starv·ing.

verb (used with object), starved, starv·ing.


Origin of starve

before 1000; Middle English sterven, Old English steorfan to die; cognate with German sterben
Related formshalf-starved, adjectivehalf-starv·ing, adjectiveself-starved, adjectiveun·starved, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for half-starved

Historical Examples of half-starved

  • Hadn't money enough to cross the bridge, and was half-starved.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • And, as sure as I'm a half-starved vagabond, I smell roast meat in it.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Those poor, half-starved postmen must have helped themselves to it.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • What about that half-starved dog you brought on board in Bankok in your arms.

  • Reflecting in the first place that he was half-starved, I got him a meal.

    Memoirs

    Charles Godfrey Leland


British Dictionary definitions for half-starved

half-starved

adjective

having been deprived of food; malnourished

starve

verb

to die or cause to die from lack of food
to deprive (a person or animal) or (of a person, etc) to be deprived of food
(intr) informal to be very hungry
(foll by of or for) to deprive or be deprived (of something necessary), esp so as to cause suffering or malfunctioningthe engine was starved of fuel
(tr foll by into) to bring (to) a specified condition by starvingto starve someone into submission
archaic to be or cause to be extremely cold
Derived Formsstarver, noun

Word Origin for starve

Old English steorfan to die; related to Old Frisian sterva to die, Old High German sterban to die
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 half-starved

starve

v.

Old English steorfan "to die" (past tense stearf, past participle storfen), from Proto-Germanic *sterban "be stiff" (cf. Old Frisian sterva, Dutch sterven, Old High German sterban "to die," Old Norse stjarfi "tetanus"), from PIE root *ster- "stiff, rigid" (cf. Greek sterphnios "stiff, rigid," sterphos "hide, skin," Old Church Slavonic strublu "strong, hard;" see stare).

The conjugation became weak in English by 16c. The sense narrowed to "die of cold" (14c.); meaning "to kill with hunger" is first recorded 1520s (earlier to starve of hunger, early 12c.). Intransitive sense of "to die of hunger" dates from 1570s. German cognate sterben retains the original sense of the word, but the English has come so far from its origins that starve to death (1910) is now common.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

half-starved in Medicine

starve

[stärv]

v.

To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
To deprive of food so as to cause suffering or death.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.