a person, animal, or plant that is starving.


starving; suffering from lack of nourishment.
pining with want.
poor in condition or quality.
such as to entail or suggest starvation.

Origin of starveling

First recorded in 1540–50; starve + -ling1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for starveling

Historical Examples of starveling

  • It must have been that evil-looking traveller, that starveling.

    The King's Esquires

    George Manville Fenn

  • You never could get a starveling like Scott Brenton out of sight of your conscience.

    The Brentons

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • Hunger returned; and the starveling reappeared in his wall-top refectory.

    The Mason-bees

    J. Henri Fabre

  • That would be too much for a starveling like you; would you not like other meat?

  • Now near to him there was a post, and on this post was the dragon's starveling daughter.

British Dictionary definitions for starveling



  1. a starving or poorly fed person, animal, etc
  2. (as modifier)a starveling child


insufficient; meagre; scant

Word Origin for starveling

C16: from starve + -ling 1
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