What does famish mean?

Definitions for famish
ˈfæm ɪʃfam·ish

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word famish.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. starve, hunger, famishverb

    be hungry; go without food

    "Let's eat--I'm starving!"

  2. starve, famishverb

    deprive of food

    "They starved the prisoners"

  3. starve, famishverb

    die of food deprivation

    "The political prisoners starved to death"; "Many famished in the countryside during the drought"


  1. famishverb

    To suffer extremity from deprivation of anything essential or necessary.

  2. famishverb

    To starve (to death); to kill or destroy with hunger.

  3. famishverb

    To exhaust the strength or endurance of, by hunger; to distress with hunger.

  4. famishverb

    To kill, or to cause to suffer extremity, by deprivation or denial of anything necessary.

  5. famishverb

    To suffer extreme hunger or thirst, so as to be exhausted in strength, or to come near to perish.

  6. famishverb

    To die of hunger; to starve.

  7. famishverb

    To force or constrain by famine.

  8. Etymology: An alteration of fame, after verbs in -ish. Compare famine, affamish.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To FAMISHverb

    Etymology: from fames, Latin; famis, old French.

    What, did he marry me to famish me? William Shakespeare.

    The pains of famish’d Tantalus he’ll feel,
    And Sisyphus, that labours up the hill
    The rowling rock in vain; and curst Ixion’s wheel. Dryd.

    Thin air
    Above the clouds will pine his entrails gross,
    And famish him of breath, if not of bread. John Milton, P. Lost.

  2. To Famishverb

    To die of hunger.

    You are all resolved rather to die than to famish. William Shakespeare, Coriol.


  1. famish

    In politics, humanitarian aid, and the social sciences, hunger is defined as a condition in which a person does not have the physical or financial capability to eat sufficient food to meet basic nutritional needs for a sustained period. In the field of hunger relief, the term hunger is used in a sense that goes beyond the common desire for food that all humans experience, also known as an appetite. The most extreme form of hunger, when malnutrition is widespread, and when people have started dying of starvation through lack of access to sufficient, nutritious food, leads to a declaration of famine. Throughout history, portions of the world's population have often suffered sustained periods of hunger. In many cases, hunger resulted from food supply disruptions caused by war, plagues, or adverse weather. In the decades following World War II, technological progress and enhanced political cooperation suggested it might be possible to substantially reduce the number of people suffering from hunger. While progress was uneven, by 2014, the threat of extreme hunger had receded for a large portion of the world's population. According to the FAO's 2021 The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report, the number of people suffering from chronic hunger began to rise gradually between 2014 and 2019. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a massive increase, resulting in nearly 770 million people suffering from malnutrition.While most of the world's people continue to live in Asia, much of the increase in hunger since 2015 occurred in Africa and South America. The FAO's 2017 report discussed three principal reasons for the recent increase in hunger: climate, conflict, and economic slowdowns. The 2018 edition focused on extreme weather as a primary driver of the increase in hunger, finding rising rates to be especially severe in countries where agricultural systems were most sensitive to extreme weather variations. The 2019 SOFI report found a strong correlation between increases in hunger and countries that had suffered an economic slowdown. The 2020 edition instead looked at the prospects of achieving the hunger related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). It warned that if nothing was done to counter the adverse trends of the past six years, the number of people suffering from chronic hunger could rise by over 150 million by 2030. The 2021 report reported a sharp jump in hunger caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many thousands of organizations are engaged in the field of hunger relief, operating at local, national, regional, or international levels. Some of these organizations are dedicated to hunger relief, while others may work in several different fields. The organizations range from multilateral institutions to national governments, to small local initiatives such as independent soup kitchens. Many participate in umbrella networks that connect thousands of different hunger relief organizations. At the global level, much of the world's hunger relief efforts are coordinated by the UN and geared towards achieving SDG 2 of Zero Hunger by 2030.


  1. famish

    Famish generally means to suffer or cause someone to suffer from extreme hunger or lack of food. It indicates a severe or extreme state of starvation or deprivation.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Famishverb

    to starve, kill, or destroy with hunger

  2. Famishverb

    to exhaust the strength or endurance of, by hunger; to distress with hanger

  3. Famishverb

    to kill, or to cause to suffer extremity, by deprivation or denial of anything necessary

  4. Famishverb

    to force or constrain by famine

  5. Famishverb

    to die of hunger; to starve

  6. Famishverb

    to suffer extreme hunger or thirst, so as to be exhausted in strength, or to come near to perish

  7. Famishverb

    to suffer extremity from deprivation of anything essential or necessary

  8. Famishadjective

    smoky; hot; choleric

  9. Etymology: [OE. famen; cf. OF. afamer, L. fames. See Famine, and cf. Affamish.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Famish

    fam′ish, v.t. to starve.—v.i. to die or suffer extreme hunger or thirst.—n. Fam′ishment, starvation. [Obs. fame, to starve—L. fames, hunger.]

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How to say famish in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of famish in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of famish in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Translations for famish

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"famish." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/famish>.

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    evincing the presence of a deity
    A jejune
    B numinous
    C inexpiable
    D currish

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