- a white, tasteless, odorless substance found in potatoes, rice, corn, wheat, cassava, and many other vegetables: it is a granular solid, chemically a complex carbohydrate, (CHO), and is used in adhesives, sizes, cooking, cosmetics, medicine, etc.
- a powdered form of this, used in laundering for stiffening cloth, fabrics, etc.
- [pl.] starchy foods
- formal, unbending manner or behavior; stiffness
- Informal energy; vigor
Origin of starchMiddle English starche from sterchen, to stiffen from Old English an unverified form stercan from stearc, rigid, stiff, akin to German stark, strong: see stark