What does famine mean?

Definitions for famine
ˈfæm ɪnfamine

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word famine.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. dearth, famine, shortagenoun

    an acute insufficiency

  2. faminenoun

    a severe shortage of food (as through crop failure) resulting in violent hunger and starvation and death


  1. faminenoun

    extreme shortage of food in a region

  2. faminenoun

    a period of extreme shortage of food in a region

  3. faminenoun

    During times of famine

  4. Etymology: From famine.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Faminenoun

    Scarcity of food; dearth; distress for want of victuals.

    Etymology: famine, French; fames, Latin.

    Our castle’s strength
    Will laugh a siege to scorn: here let them lie,
    ’Till famine and the ague eat them up. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    Famines have not been of late observed, partly because of the industry of mankind, partly by those supplies that come by sea to countries in want, but principally by the goodness of God. Matthew Hale, Origin of Mankind.

    This city never felt a siege before,
    But from the lake receiv’d its daily store;
    Which now shut up, and millions crowded here,
    Famine will soon in multitudes appear. John Dryden, Indian Emp.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Faminenoun

    general scarcity of food; dearth; a want of provisions; destitution

  2. Etymology: [F. famine, fr. L. fames hunger; cf. Gr. want, need, Skr. hni loss, lack, h to leave.]


  1. Famine

    A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, population unbalance, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Nearly every continent in the world has experienced a period of famine throughout history. Some countries, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa, continue to have extreme cases of famine. The famine relief model increasingly used by aid groups calls for giving cash or cash vouchers to the hungry to pay local farmers instead of buying food from donor countries, as is often required by law, as it wastes money on transport costs, but more importantly, it perpetuates the cycle of dependency on foreign imports rather than helping to create real local stability through agricultural abundance. Emergency measures in relieving famine include providing high calorie ready-to-use therapeutic food, through fortified sachets of peanut-based paste such as Plumpy'nut that are given primarily to children. Long-term measures include investment in modern agriculture techniques, such as fertilizers and irrigation, which largely eradicated hunger in the developed world. World Bank strictures restrict government subsidies for farmers, and increasing use of fertilizers is opposed by some environmental groups because of its unintended consequences: adverse effects on water supplies and habitat.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Famine

    fam′in, n. general scarcity of food: extreme scarcity of anything, as in 'famine prices,' &c.: hunger: starvation. [Fr., through an unrecorded Low L. famina, from L. fames, hunger.]

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How to pronounce famine?

How to say famine in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of famine in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of famine in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of famine in a Sentence

  1. Franz Rauchenstein:

    I wouldn't talk about famine for the time-being, that is not yet the case. But we could well go into a situation where the situation becomes more dire especially in the next three to four months.

  2. David Beasley:

    42 million people that are literally knocking on famine's door, this is a worst-case scenario.

  3. Hany El-Banna:

    We cannot wait like we did in 2011 when we acted too late, we need to deal with this today - if we don't this drought will turn into a famine.

  4. Volodymyr Zelenskyy:

    We desperately need weapons that can make our skies safe, that we can use to unblock our cities where Russia is artificially creating famine.

  5. John Sifton:

    The Taliban represent an abusive authority, a brutal regime that has killed people and repressed and plans to subjugate the human rights of millions of people in coming years, but none of that will matter to those people if they're dead because of famine.

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Translations for famine

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