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starving [adjective] (NOT FOOD)

dying because of not having enough food

US /ˈstɑːr.vɪŋ/ 
UK /ˈstɑː.vɪŋ/ 

The cats were neglected and starving.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English


starve S3 /stɑːv $ stɑːrv/ BrE AmE verb
[Language: Old English; Origin: steorfan 'to die']
1. [intransitive] 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 from the cold or starve to death (=die from lack of food).
2. [transitive] to prevent someone from having enough food to live:
The poor dog looked like it had been starved.
3. be starving (also be starved American English) to be very hungry:
You must be starving!
starve somebody/something of something (also starve somebody/something for something American English) phrasal verb [usually passive]
to not give something that is needed:
The schools are starved of funding.
The poor kid’s just starved for attention.
starve somebody ↔ out phrasal verb
to force someone to leave a place by preventing them from getting food:
If we can’t blast them out, we’ll starve them out!

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

(be) starving (for something)


be ˈstarving (for sth) idiom
(also be ˈstarved especially in NAmE) (informal) to feel very hungry
• When's the food coming? I'm starving!

Main entry: starveidiom

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

starving / ˈstɑː.vɪŋ /   / ˈstɑːr- / adjective (NO FOOD)

B2 dying because of not having enough food:

The cats were neglected and starving.

B2 informal very hungry:

Isn't lunch ready yet? I'm starving.


starving / ˈstɑː.vɪŋ /   / ˈstɑːr- / adjective [ after verb ] Scottish English or Northern English (COLD)

extremely cold:

Could you put the heating on? I'm starving!

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


 ADJ: v-link ADJ
 If you say that you are starving, you mean that you are very hungry. [INFORMAL]
  Apart from anything else I was starving.

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary



starve /ˈstɑɚv/ verb starves; starved; starv·ing
1 [no obj] : to suffer or die from lack of food : to suffer extreme hunger
• Without food they would starve.
• They left him to starve out in the desert.
• Those people are starving.
• providing food for starving children
• The famine caused many to starve to death. [=to die from lack of food]
2 [+ obj] : to cause (a person or animal) to suffer or die because of lack of food
• 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.
3 a [no obj] chiefly US : to want or need something very much - usually used as (be) starving for
• Those children are starving for attention. [=they badly need to be given more attention]
• After being alone for so long, I was starving for conversation.
• a government program that is starving for funds
b [+ obj] : to not give (someone or something) enough of something that is wanted or needed
• Those children have been starved of attention. [=they have not been given enough attention]
• (chiefly US) Those children are starved for attention. [=they badly need to be given more attention]
- sometimes used in combination
• a cash-starved company
be starving or be starved chiefly US informal : to be very hungry
• I skipped lunch, so by dinnertime I was starving.
• When are we eating? I'm starved!