starve

verb
\ ˈstärv \
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

Eight-year-old Gabriel Fernandez died in May 2013 after being routinely beaten and starved by his mother and her boyfriend. NBC News, "Man charged with killing boy, 10, who reportedly came out as gay," 28 June 2018 Kim stands accused of leading a murderous regime that starves its own people. CBS News, "Trump grumbles that deal with North Korea isn't getting enough praise," 16 June 2018 After all, Kim presides over the world's most oppressive state, with a record of enslaving and starving his people, and was responsible for the death of a US prisoner Otto Warmbier last year. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "What really came out of the Trump-Kim summit," 12 June 2018 The 22-year-old looked like a player starved of proper game time, which has been the case this season for an individual of his ability. SI.com, "Robert Pires Implores Manchester United Winger to Quit Old Trafford & Join Arsenal," 6 May 2018 According to former follower Niki Lopez, who later testified against York in court, children were forced to live separately from their parents and were beaten with wire hangers and broom sticks and sometimes starved by York’s concubines. Christine Pelisek, PEOPLE.com, "The Story Behind a Black Supremacist Cult That Lived in Egyptian-Themed Compound in Rural Georgia," 6 July 2018 You either got married and had children or did menial jobs and starved. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "Sunday Conversation: Lesley Manville discusses her wide-ranging career and new appreciation for TV," 5 July 2018 Bashar al-Assad has bombed, gassed and starved his enemies out of the biggest cities. The Economist, "Syrian refugees could turn into the new Palestinians," 30 June 2018 Over the course of 100 days, people were slaughtered or fled the country, and a generation of dogs was left behind, stray and starving. Yana Paskova, National Geographic, "Learning to Love Dogs in Kigali," 29 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about starve

Statistics for starve

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for starve

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for starve

starve

verb

English Language Learners Definition of starve

: to suffer or die from lack of food : to suffer extreme hunger

: to cause (a person or animal) to suffer or die because of lack of food

: to want or need something very much

starve

verb
\ ˈstärv \
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 \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on starve

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

WORD OF THE DAY

alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!