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  1. simple past tense and past participle of starch


starched (comparative more starched, superlative most starched)

  1. Of a garment: having had starch applied.
  2. Stiff, formal, rigid; prim and proper.
    • 1712, Jonathan Swift, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, in The Works of Jonathan Swift, Dublin: George Faulkner, 1751, Volume 1, pp. 102-103,[1]
      Does the Gospel any where prescribe a starched squeezed Countenance, a stiff formal Gait, a Singularity of Manners and Habit, or any affected Modes of Speech, different from the reasonable Part of Mankind?
    • 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, London: J. Johnson, Part 1, Chapter 5, Section 3, pp. 217-218,[2]
      A cultivated understanding, and an affectionate heart, will never want starched rules of decorum—something more substantial than seemliness will be the result; and, without understanding the behaviour here recommended, would be rank affectation.
    • 1817, Walter Scott, Rob Roy, Volume 2, Chapter 8,[3]
      I was not a little startled at recognising in his companions that very Morris on whose account I had been summoned before Justice Inglewood, and Mr. MacVittie the merchant, from whose starched and severe aspect I had recoiled on the preceding day.
    • 1961, Bernard Malamud, A New Life, Penguin, 1968, p. 107,[4]
      [] CD is a fair-enough scholar but starched like my grand-daddy’s collar.’