- Starve is defined as to die or suffer from hunger, or to have an intense want for something.
- An example of starve is someone being trapped and not being able to eat for five days.
- An example of starve is a child acting up because they're lacking in attention.
intransitive verbstarved, starving
- to die from lack of food
- to suffer or become weak from hunger
- Informal to be ravenously hungry
- to suffer great need: with for: starving for affection
- Now Dial. to suffer and die slowly from any cause, esp. from extreme cold
Origin of starveMiddle English sterven ; from Old English steorfan, to die, perish, akin to German sterben: see start
- to cause to starve by depriving of food
- to force by starvation: to starve an enemy into submission
- to cause to suffer from a lack or need of something specified
- Now Dial. to cause to die from extreme cold
verbstarved starved, starv·ing, starves
- To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
- Informal To be hungry.
- To suffer from deprivation: a puppy starving for attention.
- Archaic To suffer or die from cold.
- To cause to starve.
- To force to a specified state by starving: starved the town into submission.
Origin of starveMiddle English sterven, to die, from Old English steorfan; see ster-1 in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present starves, present participle starving, simple past starved, starf, or storve (obsolete), past participle starved or rarely storven)
- (intransitive) To die because of lack of food or of not eating.
- (intransitive) To be very hungry.
- Hey, ma, I'm starving!
- To destroy, make capitulate or at least make suffer by deprivation, notably of food
- To deprive of nourishment.
- They starved the child until it withered away.
- (UK, especially Yorkshire and Lancashire) To kill with cold.
- I was half starved waiting out in that wind.
From Middle English sterven, from Old English steorfan (â€œto dieâ€), from Proto-Germanic *sterbanÄ… (â€œto become stiff, dieâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)terp- (â€œto lose strength, become numb, be motionlessâ€); or from Proto-Indo-European *sterbÊ°- (â€œto become stiffâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *ster- (â€œstiffâ€); or a conflation of the aforementioned. Cognate with Scots sterve (â€œto die, perishâ€), Saterland Frisian stjerwa (â€œto dieâ€), West Frisian stjerre (â€œto dieâ€), Dutch sterven (â€œto dieâ€), Low German staarven (â€œto dieâ€), starven, German sterben (â€œto dieâ€), Icelandic stirfinn (â€œpeevish, frowardâ€), Albanian shterp (â€œsterile, unproductive, barren landâ€).