v. starved, starv·ing, starves
1. To suffer or die from extreme or prolonged lack of food.
2. Informal To be hungry.
3. To suffer from deprivation: a puppy starving for attention.
4. Archaic To suffer or die from cold.
1. To cause to starve.
2. To force to a specified state by starving: starved the town into submission.
[Middle English sterven, to die, from Old English steorfan; see ster-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.