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 The coalition had laid siege, hoping to starve the fighters out. New York Times, 13 Nov. 2021 Thus, any guest who books three or four days or more at Streamsong never leaves the property and must have breakfast, lunch and dinner there or starve. John Mariani, Forbes, 26 Oct. 2021 Firefighters also can starve wildfires of fuel using backburns so flames burn at the base of trees rather than more intensely in the crowns and threatening wildlife habitat. Felicia Fonseca, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Oct. 2021 Firefighters also can starve wildfires of fuel using backburns so flames burn at the base of trees rather than more intensely in the crowns and threatening wildlife habitat. Felicia Fonseca, ajc, 23 Oct. 2021 Board clerk Raquel Alvarez agreed with Joyce that spending too much on the Reynolds project would starve other campuses in need of repairs and upgrades. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Nov. 2021 Investors purchased a record amount of commercial real estate in the third quarter, defying warnings that the Covid-19 pandemic would erode these property values and starve the industry of cash. Peter Grant, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2021 Now, the country’s not going to starve, but ultimately this is a great example. David Blackmon, Forbes, 17 Oct. 2021 But the lack of fuel and other supplies has left many without the means to help as some people starve. BostonGlobe.com, 30 Sep. 2021

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

Learn More About starve

Time Traveler for starve

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near starve

star vault

starve

starved brood

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for starve

Last Updated

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Starve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/starve. Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!