famine

play
noun fam·ine \ˈfa-mən\

Definition of famine

  1. 1 :  an extreme scarcity of food The famine affected most of the country.

  2. 2 archaic :  starvation

  3. 3 archaic :  a ravenous appetite

  4. 4 :  a great shortage Transportation problems resulted in a coal famine.

Examples of famine in a sentence

  1. The famine affected half the continent.

  2. millions killed by war, drought, and famine

Origin and Etymology of famine

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from feim, faim hunger, from Latin fames


First Known Use: 14th century


FAMINE Defined for English Language Learners

famine

play
noun fam·ine \ˈfa-mən\

Definition of famine for English Language Learners

  • : a situation in which many people do not have enough food to eat


FAMINE Defined for Kids

famine

play
noun fam·ine \ˈfa-mən\

Definition of famine for Students

  1. :  a very great shortage of food that affects many people over a wide area



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up famine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a mode of satirical wit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • manet-jeanne-spring
  • Which is a synonym of chaffer?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ