- Famish is defined as to make or be hungry, starving or weak.
An example of famish is for a person to not eat for a week.
- to make or be very hungry; make or become weak from hunger
- Obsolete to starve to death
Origin of famishMiddle English famishen, altered (after verbs ending in -ish-: see -ish) ; from famen, aphetic ; from Old French afamer ; from Vulgar Latin an unverified form affamare ; from Classical Latin ad, to + fames, hunger: see famine
verbfam·ished, fam·ish·ing, fam·ish·es
- To cause to endure severe hunger.
- To cause to starve to death.
- To endure severe deprivation, especially of food.
- To undergo starvation and die.
Origin of famishMiddle English famishen, alteration of famen, from Old French afamer, from Vulgar Latin *affamāre : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin famēs, hunger.
(third-person singular simple present famishes, present participle famishing, simple past and past participle famished)
- To exhaust the strength or endurance of, by hunger; to distress with hunger.
- And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. -- Gen. xli. 55.
- The pains of famished Tantalus he'll feel. --Dryden.
- To kill, or to cause to suffer extremity, by deprivation or denial of anything necessary.
- And famish him of breath, if not of bread. -- Milton.
- To force or constrain by famine.
- He had famished Paris into a surrender. -- Burke.
- (intransitive) To die of hunger; to starve.
- (intransitive) To suffer extreme hunger or thirst, so as to be exhausted in strength, or to come near to perish.
- You are all resolved rather to die than to famish? -- Shakespeare
- (intransitive) To suffer extremity from deprivation of anything essential or necessary.
- The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish. -- Prov. x. 3.