starve

verb
\ ˈstärv How to pronounce starve (audio) \
starved; starving

Definition of starve

intransitive verb

1a : to perish from lack of food
b : to suffer extreme hunger
2a archaic : to die of cold
b British : to suffer greatly from cold
3 : to suffer or perish from deprivation starved for affection

transitive verb

1a : to kill with hunger
b : to deprive of nourishment
c : to cause to capitulate by or as if by depriving of nourishment
2 : to destroy by or cause to suffer from deprivation
3 archaic : to kill with cold

Examples of starve in a Sentence

Without food they would starve. They left him to starve out in the desert. providing food for starving children They tried to starve their enemies into submission. It was clear that the dog had been starved. You don't have to starve yourself to lose weight. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Countless women feel the pressure to hit the gym or starve themselves to fit into a wedding dress. Laken Brooks, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The Russian aim is to slowly cut off or encircle the bulk of Ukraine’s army east of the Dnipro River and starve it of new supplies. New York Times, 1 May 2022 Party leaders can also try to starve them of funding sources. W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 1 May 2022 Kolpakov said the Kremlin spent many years making a show of tolerating a free press while quietly doing its best to starve it. Washington Post, 15 Mar. 2022 The result has been a humanitarian crisis, as Afghans starve while struggling to find food. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 11 Feb. 2022 If residents are unable to house all dogs, animals might starve or freeze to death in winter. Alena Naiden, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Apr. 2022 In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 17 Mar. 2022 Climate change, supply chain chaos, and now this war — in six months’ time, poor people will starve to death. Washington Post, 7 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'starve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of starve

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for starve

Middle English sterven to die, starve, from Old English steorfan to die; akin to Old High German sterban to die, and probably to Lithuanian starinti to stiffen — more at stare

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Time Traveler for starve

Time Traveler

The first known use of starve was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near starve

star vault

starve

starved brood

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Statistics for starve

Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Starve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/starve. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for starve

starve

verb
\ ˈstärv How to pronounce starve (audio) \
starved; starving

Kids Definition of starve

1 : to suffer or die or cause to suffer or die from lack of food
2 : to suffer or cause to suffer from a lack of something other than food The dog was starving for affection.

starve

verb
\ ˈstärv How to pronounce starve (audio) \
starved; starving

Medical Definition of starve

intransitive verb

1 : to perish from lack of food
2 : to suffer extreme hunger

transitive verb

1 : to kill with hunger
2 : to deprive of nourishment

More from Merriam-Webster on starve

Nglish: Translation of starve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of starve for Arabic Speakers

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