- to die or perish from lack of food or nourishment.
- to be in the process of perishing or suffering severely from hunger.
- to suffer from extreme poverty and need.
- to feel a strong need or desire: The child was starving for affection.
- Chiefly British Dialect. to perish or suffer extremely from cold.
- Obsolete. to die.
- to cause to starve; kill, weaken, or reduce by lack of food.
- to subdue, or force to some condition or action, by hunger: to starve a besieged garrison into a surrender.
- to cause to suffer for lack of something needed or craved.
- Chiefly British Dialect. to cause to perish, or to suffer extremely, from cold.
Origin of starve
Related Words for starvequit, renounce, refrain, withhold, forgo, cease, shun, require, demand, abstain, forbear, decline, refuse, spurn, avoid, eschew, stop, fast, abjure, curb
Examples from the Web for starve
Contemporary Examples of starve
Still, the man did starve himself in the name of a same-sex marriage ban and it, unsurprisingly, earned him a lot of backlash.Utah Man Gives Up Gay Marriage Hunger Strike
January 6, 2014
This can explain why people who starve themselves can only lose minimal amounts of weight.Eating More Fat Could Save Your Life
December 13, 2013
For them, it was assimilate or starve, with the constant reality of low-wage labor being undercut by new arrivals.The Heritage Immigration Study, Ctd.
May 7, 2013
No one will starve here (except those inexplicably ignored persons who already are starving).The Scariest Thing About Sandy: Guarding the Water Supply
October 30, 2012
In a way, it was my decision not to starve myself that turned me into a supermodel, and later on, a businesswoman.Tyra Banks’s Open Letter to Models: ‘Vogue’ to Ban Images of Anorexia
May 15, 2012
Historical Examples of starve
We would do anything in our power for Sergeant Wilde and for the cause, but we cannot starve!'The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
Old, a lot of them, and gettin' well to go out and starve, and—My God!K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
You may hang a man if you like, but you have no right to starve him.In the Midst of Alarms
Content to starve, content to freeze, if only he need not be carried into captivity.The Village Watch-Tower
(AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
Leaving me here hungry and thirsty and tired, to starve, for anything they care!Little Dorrit
- 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
Word Origin for starve
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.
- To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
- To deprive of food so as to cause suffering or death.