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starve +‎ -ling


starveling (plural starvelings)

  1. One who is thin from lack of food.
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, Henry IV Part I, act 2, scene 1:
      If I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows; for if I hang, old Sir John hangs with me, and thou knowest he is no starveling.
    • 1979, V. S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River:
      As for the starveling rebels of our region, they soon began to reappear in town, more starved and abject, their blackened rags hanging on them []


starveling (comparative more starveling, superlative most starveling)

  1. Starving; suffering from starvation.
  2. Meagre; scanty.
    • 1930, Norman Lindsay, Redheap, Sydney: Ure Smith, published 1965, page 128:
      [A] few meetings in the cape-broom, a starveling allowance of kisses in a very ill-advised publicity.