Definition of famine
1 : an extreme scarcity of food The famine affected most of the country.
2 archaic : starvation
3 archaic : a ravenous appetite
4 : a great shortage Transportation problems resulted in a coal famine.
Examples of famine in a Sentence
The famine affected half the continent.
millions killed by war, drought, and famine
Recent Examples of famine from the Web
Bitter Harvest The Soviet famine of 1932 and 1933, caused by Joseph Stalin's cruel collectivisation campaign, serves as the backdrop of this 2017 romantic drama.
The U.N warned that South Sudan's crisis is worsening and that removing the label of famine doesn't mean the situation has actually improved.
Since launching its war in Yemen in March 2015, the kingdom has been bogged down in a conflict that has killed 10,000 Yemenis and left a quarter of the country’s population on the brink of famine.
Many Greeks were first pushed by famine and political upheaval in the 1890s to come here.
The war has claimed thousands of civilian lives and put the country on the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.
Somalia is one of four countries singled out by the United Nations in a $4.4 billion aid appeal to avert catastrophic hunger and famine, along with Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen.
There is also an acute lack of basic food stuffs, mainly maize, during famine, which affects all segments of the population.
To her credit, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) seems to be the only member of Congress fighting that fight, urging the administration to address the brewing famine on the continent.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'famine'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of famine
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from feim, faim hunger, from Latin fames
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
FAMINE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of famine for English Language Learners
: a situation in which many people do not have enough food to eat
FAMINE Defined for Kids
Definition of famine for Students
: a very great shortage of food that affects many people over a wide area
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