English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ]
Middle English , from sterven Old English steorfan ( “ to die ” ), from Proto-Germanic *sterbaną ( “ to become stiff, die ” ), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)terp- ( “ to lose strength, become numb, be motionless ” ); or from Proto-Indo-European *sterbʰ- ( “ to become stiff ” ), from Proto-Indo-European *ster- ( “ stiff ” ); or a conflation of the aforementioned. Cognate with Scots sterve ( “ to die, perish ” ), Saterland Frisian stjerwa ( “ to die ” ), West Frisian stjerre ( “ to die ” ), Dutch sterven ( “ to die ” ), German Low German starven ( “ to die ” ), German sterben ( “ to die ” ), Icelandic stirfinn ( “ peevish, froward ” ), Albanian shterp ( “ sterile, unproductive, barren land ” ).
Pronunciation [ edit ]
starve ( third-person singular simple present , starves present participle , starving simple past starved or ( obsolete ) starf or ( obsolete ) , storve past participle starved or ( obsolete ) ) storven
( intransitive , obsolete ) To die; in later use especially to die slowly, waste away.
1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.i.4:
Britomart / Released her, that else was like to starve, / Through cruell knife that her deare heart did kerue.
( intransitive ) To die because of lack of food or of not eating.
2007, Lisa Wingate, A Thousand Voices, page 76:
"When all of you starve to death, Shasta, don't come crying to me, that's all."
( intransitive ) To be very hungry.
Hey, ma, I'm starving!
( transitive ) To destroy, make capitulate or at least make suffer by deprivation, notably of food.
( transitive ) To deprive of nourishment.
They starved the child until it withered away.
( transitive , Britain , especially Yorkshire and Lancashire ) To kill with cold.
I was half starved waiting out in that wind.
Translations [ edit ]
to die because of lack of food
to destroy by deprivation
to deprive of nourishment
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Translations to be checked
Derived terms [ edit ]
Anagrams [ edit ]