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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Most Read Nation & World Stories Common murres, which can use up fat reserves and starve after three days without eating, fly hundreds miles to find fish schools or krill but were washing up dead on shore. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Pace of Bering Sea changes startles scientists," 16 Apr. 2019 Much like publishers embraced and later dreaded Amazon.com, the popularity of food-delivery apps may mean restaurants could be the next businesses to get starved. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Delivery Apps May Take the Whole Enchilada," 10 Mar. 2019 If your plant is growing very tall and thin very rapidly, it may be starved for more direct sun and is seeking light. Kenneth Setzer, miamiherald, "Houseplant advice for the millennial (or anyone) who doesn’t have a green thumb," 11 July 2018 Algal blooms starve the water of oxygen, causing dead zones in coastal waters. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "In Hendricks County, Ronald Reagan Parkway extension pits science against growth," 9 July 2018 For nine months, she was starved, beaten and raped by this man, until she was saved by the police. Judith Newman, New York Times, "Adversity Needn’t Thwart or Define You. Here’s How to Cope.," 6 July 2018 Prisoners are starved, forced to work, tortured and raped. BostonGlobe.com, "Atrocities under Kim Jong Un: Indoctrination, prison gulags, executions," 13 June 2018 They were detained in concentration camps — starved, maltreated, used for slave labor, and worse. Diane Bell, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Tom Cruise, aka Maverick, feels the need for a San Diego re-fuel," 1 June 2018 But today, the ice jams have stopped scouring, and manmade dams starve the river of sediment. National Geographic, "This Is What One of the Last Great Migrations Looks Like," 17 Apr. 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.

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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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Statistics for starve

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for starve

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

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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
chiefly US : to want or need something very much

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on starve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with starve

Spanish Central: Translation of starve

Nglish: Translation of starve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of starve for Arabic Speakers

Comments on starve

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