\ \ [14] Both famine and famish [14] come ultimately from Latin famēshunger’. Its Vulgar Latin derivative *faminis produced Old French famine, source of English famine. Famish has come via a more circuitous route: another Vulgar Latin derivative of famēs was *affamāre, a compound verb formed with the prefix ad- ‘towards’; in Old French this became afamer, which was borrowed into Middle English, with loss of its first syllable, as famestarve’; and before long this had the suffix -ish added to it, on the model of other verbs such as abolish and diminish.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • famine — [ famin ] n. f. • 1155; du rad. du lat. fames « faim » 1 ♦ Manque d aliments qui fait qu une population souffre de la faim. ⇒ disette. Pays qui souffre de la famine. ⇒ faim. Famine endémique. La famine règne dans tout le pays. Les grandes famines …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • famine — Famine. s. f. Disette publique, de pain & des autres choses necessaires à la nourriture. Il y eut une grande famine cette année là. par un temps de famine. la famine est un des fleaux dont Dieu chastie les hommes. la famine se mit dans la ville.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Famine — Fam ine, n. [F. famine, fr. L. fames hunger; cf. Gr. ????? want, need, Skr. h[=a]ni loss, lack, h[=a] to leave.] General scarcity of food; dearth; a want of provisions; destitution. Worn with famine. Milton. [1913 Webster] There was a famine in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • famine — mid 14c., from O.Fr. famine hunger (12c.), from V.L. *famina, from L. fames hunger, starvation, famine, of unknown origin …   Etymology dictionary

  • famine — Famine, Fames. La famine est ensuyvie, Secuta est fames. Apporter famine aux citoyens, Famem ciuibus inferre …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Famine — Famine, s. Port Famine …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Famīne — Famīne, Hafen an der Ostküste der südlichsten Halbinsel von Patagonien (Südamerika); hier errichteten 1582 die Spanier das Fort Ciudad del Rey Felipe; doch starb die Besatzung von 400 bis auf 24 wegen Mangels an Lebensmitteln aus, u. als 1587 die …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • famine — index paucity, poverty, privation Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • famine — [n] hunger dearth, destitution, drought, misery, paucity, poverty, scarcity, starvation, want; concepts 674,709 Ant. feast, plenty, stores, supply …   New thesaurus

  • famine — ► NOUN 1) extreme scarcity of food. 2) archaic hunger. ORIGIN Old French, from faim hunger , from Latin fames …   English terms dictionary

  • famine — [fam′in] n. [ME < OFr < VL * famina < L fames, hunger < IE base * dhē , to wither away > DAZE] 1. an acute and general shortage of food, or a period of this 2. any acute shortage 3. Archaic starvation …   English World dictionary

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