starve

starve O.E. steorfan "to die" (pt. stearf, pp. storfen), from P.Gmc. *sterban "be stiff" (Cf. O.Fris. sterva, Du. sterven, O.H.G. sterban "to die," O.N. stjarfi "tetanus"), from PIE root *ster- "stiff, rigid" (Cf. Gk. sterphnios "stiff, rigid," sterphos "hide, skin," O.C.S. strublu "strong, hard;" see STARE (Cf. stare)). The conjugation became weak in English by 16c. The sense narrowed to "die of cold" (14c.); meaning "to kill with hunger" is first recorded 1520s (earlier to starve of hunger, early 12c.). Intransitive sense of "to die of hunger" dates from 1570s. German cognate sterben retains the original sense of the word, but the English has come so far from its origins that starve to death (1910) is now common.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • starve — S3 [sta:v US sta:rv] v [: Old English; Origin: steorfan to die ] 1.) to suffer or die because you do not have enough to eat ▪ Thousands of people will starve if food doesn t reach the city. ▪ pictures of starving children ▪ They ll either die… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Starve — Starve, v. t. 1. To destroy with cold. [Eng.] [1913 Webster] From beds of raging fire, to starve in ice Their soft ethereal warmth. Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. To kill with hunger; as, maliciously to starve a man is, in law, murder. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • starve — [ starv ] verb * intransitive to suffer or die because there is not enough food: There are people out there who are starving because of your actions. a. transitive to make someone suffer or die by preventing them from having enough food: They… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Starve — (st[aum]rv), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Starved} (st[aum]rvd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Starving}.] [OE. sterven to die, AS. steorfan; akin to D. sterven, G. sterben, OHG. sterban, Icel. starf labor, toil.] 1. To die; to perish. [Obs., except in the sense of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • starve — [stärv] vi. starved, starving [ME sterven < OE steorfan, to die, perish, akin to Ger sterben: see START] 1. a) to die from lack of food b) to suffer or become weak from hunger c) Informal to be ravenously hungry …   English World dictionary

  • starve — UK US /stɑːv/ verb [T, often passive] ► if a company, etc. is starved of something necessary or good, it does not receive enough of it: starve sth of sth »His predecessor in the job had starved the business of capital investment. be starved… …   Financial and business terms

  • starve — starve; starve·ling; …   English syllables

  • starve — ► VERB 1) suffer or die from hunger. 2) cause to starve. 3) (be starving or starved) informal feel very hungry. 4) (be starved of or US for) be deprived of. DERIVA …   English terms dictionary

  • starve — v. 1) (D; tr.) to starve into (to starve smb. into submission) 2) (misc.) to starve to death; to starve oneself to death * * * [stɑːv] to starve oneself to death (misc.) to starve to death (D;tr.) to starve into (to starve smb. into submission) …   Combinatory dictionary

  • starve — 01. Many people in North Korea [starved] to death during the famine there. 02. A cockroach can live nine days without its head before it [starves] to death. 03. Apparently, if an insect chews on gum, its jaws will stick together, and it will… …   Grammatical examples in English

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