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Famish   Listen
verb
Famish  v. t.  (past & past part. famished; pres. part. famishing)  
1.
To starve, kill, or destroy with hunger.
2.
To exhaust the strength or endurance of, by hunger; to distress with hanger. "And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread." "The pains of famished Tantalus he'll feel."
3.
To kill, or to cause to suffer extremity, by deprivation or denial of anything necessary. "And famish him of breath, if not of bread."
4.
To force or constrain by famine. "He had famished Paris into a surrender."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Famish" Quotes from Famous Books



... the poor! Behold yon famish'd lad No shoes, no hose, his wounded feet protect; With limping gait, and looks so dreamy-sad, He wanders onward, stopping to inspect Each window, stored with articles of food; He yearns but to enjoy ...
— Home-Life of the Lancashire Factory Folk during the Cotton Famine • Edwin Waugh

... and Providence, Restrain thy bursting and indignant tears; With tenderest might unerring Wisdom steers Through those mad seas the bark of Innocence. Doth thy heart burn for vengeance on the deed— Some barbarous deed wrought out by cruelty On woman, or on famish'd childhood's need, Yea, on these fond dumb dogs—doth thy heart bleed For pity, child of sensibility? Those tears are gracious, and thy wrath most right Yet patience, patience; there is comfort still; The Judge is just; ...
— The Complete Prose Works of Martin Farquhar Tupper • Martin Farquhar Tupper

... her hill the Moon, all crimson, rides, 235 And his red eyes the slinking Water hides; Then all is hush'd; the bushes rustle near, And with strange tinglings sings her fainting ear. —Vex'd by the darkness, from the piny gulf Ascending, nearer howls the famish'd wolf, 240 While thro' the stillness scatters wild dismay, Her babe's small cry, that leads him ...
— The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth - Volume 1 of 8 • Edited by William Knight

... then no charms? Is there no joy, no gladness warms His aged heart? no happy wiles To cheat the hoary one to smiles? Onward he comes—the cruel North Pours his furious whirlwind forth Before him—and we breathe the breath Of famish'd bears that howl to death. Onward he comes from the rocks that blanch O'er solid streams that never flow: His tears all ice, his locks all snow, Just crept from some huge avalanche— A thing half-breathing and half-warm, ...
— The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood • Thomas Hood

... sober, retiring man becomes suddenly mad, breaks the plates, upsets the table, shrieks, raves, and shocks everybody—and finally withdraws, ashamed, and raging at himself—whither? for what purpose? To famish apart? To suffocate with his memories?—To him who has the desires of a lofty and dainty soul, and only seldom finds his table laid and his food prepared, the danger will always be great—nowadays, however, it is extraordinarily so. Thrown into the midst of a noisy and plebeian ...
— Beyond Good and Evil • Friedrich Nietzsche

... walk with God? then live much in prayer. Do you desire to feel the holy flame of love burning in all its intensity in your soul? then enkindle it often at the golden altar of prayer. Without prayer, the inner being will weaken, famish, and die; the fountain of love dry up; the spring of joy cease to flow; the dews will fail to descend; and your heart will become a parched and ...
— Food for the Lambs; or, Helps for Young Christians • Charles Ebert Orr

... whose shaggy skin (So strict the watch of dogs had been) Hid little but his bones, Once met a mastiff dog astray. A prouder, fatter, sleeker Tray, No human mortal owns. Sir Wolf in famish'd plight, Would fain have made a ration Upon his fat relation; But then he first must fight; And well the dog seem'd able To save from wolfish table His carcass snug and tight. So, then, in civil conversation The wolf express'd his admiration Of Tray's fine case. Said Tray, ...
— The Fables of La Fontaine - A New Edition, With Notes • Jean de La Fontaine

... very numerous, some Gentlemen having Hundreds of them of all Sorts, to whom they bring great Profit; for the Sake of which they are obliged to keep them well, and not over-work, starve, or famish them, besides other Inducements to favour them; which is done in a great Degree, to such especially that are laborious, careful, and honest; tho' indeed some Masters, careless of their own Interest or Reputation, are too cruel ...
— The Present State of Virginia • Hugh Jones

... but for domestic peace and utility. Minister of Works; Minister of Justice,—clearing his Model Prisons of their scoundrelism; shipping his scoundrels wholly abroad, under hard and just drill-sergeants (hundreds of such stand wistfully ready for you, these thirty years, in the Rag-and-Famish Club and elsewhere!) into fertile desert countries; to make railways,—one big railway (says the Major [Footnote: Major Carmichael Smith; see his Pamphlets on this subject]) quite across America; fit to employ all the able-bodied Scoundrels and ...
— Latter-Day Pamphlets • Thomas Carlyle

... hand, by me carest, But him with grief I saw Half famish'd, and his gallant breast Gor'd by the ...
— Ballads - Founded On Anecdotes Relating To Animals • William Hayley

... the courtier good-naturedly. "What, do my eyes deceive me? No, it is the festive and luxurious Perigord. Perigord, listen. I famish. I languish. I ...
— The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Tales • Bret Harte

... preferr'd that ravening bird![148] My song shall raise the mountain-deer; The prey he scorns, the carcase spurns, He loves the cress, the fountain cheer. His lodge is in the forest;— While carion-flesh enticing Thy greedy maw, thou buriest Thou kite of prey! thy claws in The putrid corse of famish'd horse, The greedy hound a-striving To rival thee in gluttony, Both at the bowels riving. Thou called the true bird![149]—Never, Thou foster child of evil,[150] ha! How ill match with thy feather[151] The ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel , Volume I. - The Songs of Scotland of the past half century • Various

... that fever might have come bodily out of the pond. I'll have no more to say to it till the sun has licked up the fog, and made it bright! Sunday morning—my last Sunday without school-teaching I hope! I famish to begin again—and I will make time for that, and the girls too! I am glad he consents to my doing whatever I please in that way! I hope Mr. Dusautoy will! I wish Edmund knew him better—but oh! what a shy ...
— The Young Step-Mother • Charlotte M. Yonge

... with God? then live in prayer. Do you love to feel the holy flame of love burning in all its intensity in your soul? then enkindle it often at the golden altar of prayer. Without prayer the soul will weaken, famish, and die, the fountain of love dry up and become as a thirsty and parched desert. Do you admire the character Jesus? Behold his lowliness and humility, his gentleness and tender compassion. Have they any beauty and do you desire them to grace your soul? then ...
— How to Live a Holy Life • C. E. Orr

... their Phoebus kinder warms, While fragrance blooms and beauty charms! When wretches range, in famish'd swarms, The scented groves, Or hounded forth, dishonour arms In ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... but little breakfast that morning, and verily I thought I should famish before their dinner hour arrived; and when at last it came, and I saw the table glittering with silver, I felt many misgivings as to my ability to acquit myself creditably. But by dint of watching Nellie, doing just what she did, and refusing just what she refused, ...
— Homestead on the Hillside • Mary Jane Holmes

... principle, that all riches have limits. A royal household, grown enormous, even in the meanest departments, may weaken and perhaps destroy all energy in the highest offices of the state. The gorging a royal kitchen may stint and famish the negotiations of a kingdom. Therefore the object was worthy of his, was worthy of any ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... reminded me of Naphtali, which, indeed, had something to do with my attachment for him. My relations toward him echoed with the feelings I used to have for the reticent, omniscient boy of Abner's Court, and with the hoarse, studious young Talmudist with whom I would "famish in company." He had neither Naphtali's brains nor his individuality, yet I looked up to him and was somewhat under ...
— The Rise of David Levinsky • Abraham Cahan

... imagine it is not proposed to introduce poverty as a constable to keep the peace. If our dominions abroad are the roots which feed all this rank luxuriance of sedition, it is not intended to cut them off in order to famish the fruit. If our liberty has enfeebled the executive power, there is no design, I hope, to call in the aid of despotism to fill up the deficiencies of law. Whatever may be intended, these things are not yet professed. ...
— Thoughts on the Present Discontents - and Speeches • Edmund Burke

... that the situation was not so bad as to warrant the adoption of such drastic measures. They were straining the limits of human endurance too callously. Nothing could alter our resolve to dispute with the Boer every inch of the ground we defended. So much was agreed. But the tendency to famish us displayed by our Rulers was not calculated to improve the morale of a civilian, or any, army. It did not bespeak the early relief of Kimberley. Actions like Kekewich's and Gorle's in the matter of bread fostered feelings ...
— The Siege of Kimberley • T. Phelan

... the soldiers to doors; and the outcasts, turning highwaymen, stole cattle and sheep with impunity, slew the animals, and cooked the joints "in the open eye of the world," and sullenly vowed that they would have "meat rather than famish." The fleet returned some weeks later in shame and disgrace, and the state of the men was even more miserable than when they started, for now the plague was raging amongst them. 'There was neither "meat ...
— Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts • Rosalind Northcote

... thou known the worth of heaven's rich gift, Thou wouldst have turn'd it to a truer use, And not with starv'd and covetous ignorance, Pined in continual eyeing that bright gem, The glance whereof to others had been more, Than to thy famish'd mind the wide world's store: So wretched is it to be merely rich! Witness thy youth's dear sweets here spent untasted, Like a fair taper, ...
— Cynthia's Revels • Ben Jonson

... Disraeli and Mr. Thackeray. In "Vanity Fair" we find it described as the temporary abode of the impecunious Colonel Crawley, and Moss describes his uncomfortable past and present guests in a manner worthy of Fielding himself. There is the "Honourable Capting Famish, of the Fiftieth Dragoons, whose 'mar' had just taken him out after a fortnight, jest to punish him, who punished the champagne, and had a party every night of regular tip-top swells down from the clubs at the West End; and Capting Ragg and the Honourable ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... the gems of India's gaudy zone, And plunder piled from kingdoms not their own, Degenerate trade! thy minions could despise Thy heart-born anguish of a thousand cries: Could lock, with impious hands, their teeming store, While famish'd nations died along the shore; Could mock the groans of fellow men, and bear The curse of kingdoms, peopled with despair; Could stamp disgrace on man's polluted name, And barter with ...
— Newton Forster - The Merchant Service • Captain Frederick Marryat

... whether they be thrones or dominions, principalities or powers, things present or things to come, will also lend all their energies to the help of man. God does not aid in the lowest and leave us to ourselves in the highest. He does not feed the body and let the soul famish, does not help us to the meat that perishes and let us starve for the ...
— Among the Forces • Henry White Warren

... on this important hour, And give at length my famish'd soul revenge! What is revenge, but courage to call in Our honour's debts, and wisdom to convert Others' self-love into our own protection? But see, the morning dawn breaks in upon us; I'll seek don Carlos, ...
— The Revenge - A Tragedy • Edward Young

... them, as I may say, a-soak in this grace of fear,[30] and do all in the exercise of it; for a little done in the fear of the Lord is better than the revenues of the wicked. And again, the Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous, the soul that liveth in the fear of the Lord, to famish, but he casteth away the abundance of the wicked. Bring abundance to God, and if it be not seasoned with godly fear, it shall not be acceptable to him, but loathsome and abominable in his sight; for it doth not flow from the spirit of ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... fear the Lord, ye that are His saints: for they that fear Him lack nothing," and again (xlv. 23), "O cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He will nourish thee." In the books that deal with Wisdom we have (Proverbs x. 3) "The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish." In the Prophets (Isai i. 19), "If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." In the Gospels (S. Matt. vi. 33), "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added ...
— The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent • S. Baring-Gould

... when a famish'd wolf, that all night long Had ranged the Alpine snows, by chance at morn Sees from a cliff, incumbent o'er the smoke Of some lone village, a neglected kid That strays along the wild for herb or spring; Down from the winding ridge he sweeps amain, And thinks he tears ...
— Poetical Works of Akenside - [Edited by George Gilfillan] • Mark Akenside

... I must have vengeance, first; and that were nectar Unto my famish'd spirits. O, my fortune, Let it be sudden thou prepar'st against me; Strike all my powers of understanding blind. And ignorant of destiny to come! Let me not ...
— Sejanus: His Fall • Ben Jonson

... that hour I would have wish'd to die, If through the shudd'ring midnight I had sent From the dark dungeon of the tower time-rent, That fearful voice, a famish'd father's cry— ...
— Lectures on the English Poets - Delivered at the Surrey Institution • William Hazlitt

... the fruition of things bless the possession of them, and take no satisfaction in dying but living rich. For since thy good works, not thy goods will follow thee; since riches are an appurtenance of life, and no dead man is rich, to famish in plenty, and live poorly to die rich, were a multiplying im- provement in madness and ...
— Religio Medici, Hydriotaphia, and the Letter to a Friend • Sir Thomas Browne

... doublet, with a yoke of prick-ears, A cursed splay-mouth and a Covenant spur, Rides switching and spurring with jealousies and fears, Till the poor famish'd beast was ...
— Cavalier Songs and Ballads of England from 1642 to 1684 • Charles Mackay

... love to her, insomuch that he promised to give her two hundred thousand Attic drachmae for one night's lodging; and when this would not prevail upon her, and he was not able to bear this misfortune in his amours, he thought it the best way to famish himself to death for want of food, on account of Paulina's sad refusal; and he determined with himself to die after such a manner, and he went on with his purpose accordingly. Now Mundus had a freed-woman, who had been made free by his father, ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... heaven, we have the necessaries of life in abundance, even to an exuberant plenty; and how oft have our hospitable tables fed numbers of those ungrateful monsters, who would now, if they could, famish us? ...
— The Fall of British Tyranny - American Liberty Triumphant • John Leacock

... cloy thy lips with loath'd satiety, But rather famish them amid their plenty, 20 Making them red and pale with fresh variety; Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty: A summer's day will seem an hour but short, Being wasted in such time-beguiling ...
— Venus and Adonis • William Shakespeare

... air, Smote his firm breast, and breathed his ardent prayer; High in the midst a massy altar stood, And slaughter'd offerings press'd the piles of wood; 565 While ISRAEL'S chiefs the sacred hill surround, And famish'd armies crowd the dusty ground; While proud Idolatry was leagued with dearth, And wither'd famine swept the desert earth.— "OH, MIGHTY LORD! thy woe-worn servant hear, 570 "Who calls thy name in ...
— The Botanic Garden - A Poem in Two Parts. Part 1: The Economy of Vegetation • Erasmus Darwin

... for solving the problem. Their position is safe enough from attack but in the event of a siege their safety would only be temporary. With their scant water supply at a distance and unprotected they could not hold out long in a siege, but would soon be compelled either to fight, fly or famish. ...
— Arizona Sketches • Joseph A. Munk

... greedy waves devour the lessening shore; Till some fierce tide, with more imperious sway, Sweeps the low hut and all it holds away; When the sad tenant weeps from door to door; And begs a poor protection from the poor! But these are scenes where Nature's niggard hand Gave a spare portion to the famish'd land; Hers is the fault, if here mankind complain Of fruitless toil and labour spent in vain; But yet in other scenes more fair in view, When Plenty smiles—alas! she smiles for few - And those who taste not, yet behold her store, Are as the slaves that dig the golden ore - The wealth ...
— The Village and The Newspaper • George Crabbe

... friends would have given him a cord and basket to have taken up his victuals, he was denied thereof and could not be suffered to have it, though it was much desired, but he must either come up and down by that rope, or else famish in the hole, which he did a long time, before God suffered them to see their desires in which time much means was used about it, but their wills were unalterably set in cruelty towards him. But after long suffering ...
— A Book of Quaker Saints • Lucy Violet Hodgkin

... and sunset, calm and storm, beg of galleon and beg of carrack, yea, beg of cockboat! To see your family go needy, to be doubted by wife and child and brethren and friends and acquaintance! To have them say, 'While you dream we go hungry!' and 'What good will it do us if there is India, while we famish in Spain?' and 'You love us not, or you would become a prosperous sea captain!'—Not one year but eighteen, eighteen, since I saw in vision the sun set not behind water but behind vale and hill and mountain ...
— 1492 • Mary Johnston

... here, left 'a l'abandon;' without which means they had all fallen into wild and shameful disorder, to her Majesty's great disgrace and overthrow of her service. I am compelled, unless I would see the poor men famish, and her Majesty dishonoured, to try my ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... unnatural number to keep dry, in a hurry-skurry, with a little birchen bark and gum. There, go you all on the rock, and I will bring up the Mohicans with the venison. A man had better sleep without his scalp, than famish in the ...
— The Last of the Mohicans • James Fenimore Cooper

... roamed, by famine urged) And standing at my side, me thus bespake. Stranger! thou must be ideot born, or weak At least in intellect, or thy delight Is in distress and mis'ry, who delay'st To leave this island, and no egress hence Canst find, although thy famish'd people faint. So spake the Goddess, and I thus replied. I tell thee, whosoever of the Pow'rs 460 Divine thou art, that I am prison'd here Not willingly, but must have, doubtless, sinn'd Against the deathless tenants of the skies. Yet say (for the Immortals ...
— The Odyssey of Homer • Homer

... only one thing good, specious, and honorable, the storing up of these things and the communication of them, and that it is not meet for those to live who have them not, but to despatch out of the way and famish themselves, bidding ...
— Essays and Miscellanies - The Complete Works Volume 3 • Plutarch

... on the floor as he had done the supper; and Katharine, the haughty Katharine, was fain to beg the servants would bring her secretly a morsel of food; but they being instructed by Petruchio, replied, they dared not give her anything unknown to their master. "Ah," said she, "did he marry me to famish me? Beggars that come to my father's door have food given them. But I, who never knew what it was to entreat for anything, am starved for want of food, giddy for want of sleep, with oaths kept waking, and with brawling fed; and that which vexes me more than all, he does it ...
— Tales from Shakespeare • Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb

... prevented from selling his sugar and candles, and the cobbler from mending shoes: the miller must think of giving up his mill and the wagoner of abandoning his cart; the farmer must be convinced that the best thing he can do is to get rid of his horses, eat his pork himself,[4230] let his oxen famish and leave his crops to rot on the ground.—The Jacobins are to do all this, for it is the inevitable result of the theory that they have proclaimed and which they apply. According to this theory the stern, strong, deep-seated instinct through which ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 4 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 3 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... grieved to the soul by his neglect, and unkind treatment, actually resolved to famish herself; and injured her health by the attempt; though she had not sufficient resolution to adhere to her project, or renounce it entirely. Death came not at her call; yet sorrow, and the methods she adopted to conceal her condition, ...
— Posthumous Works - of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman • Mary Wollstonecraft

... catching and carrying fish to market, and so submitting herself to the scorn and laughter of all her former lovers, till her trade makes her rich again. Nothing but luck in fishing will our queen vouchsafe the audacious madam. Three years are allowed her. But, in the interim, she must starve and famish like a white ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXLV. July, 1844. Vol. LVI. • Various

... that this is a remedy which aggravates, whilst it palliates the countless diseases of society? The poor are set to labor—for what? Not the food for which they famish; not the blankets for want of which their babes are frozen by the cold of their miserable hovels; not those comforts of civilization without which civilized man is far more miserable than the meanest savage, oppressed as he is by all its insidious evils, within the daily and taunting prospect ...
— Percy Bysshe Shelley as a Philosopher and Reformer • Charles Sotheran

... more of her, to drink his fill of her beauty and fix her image in his memory that he might not famish in his loneliness during the dreary winter months when ...
— A Man of Two Countries • Alice Harriman

... his Aldermanship: an the whole Bench were such notable Swingers, 'twould famish the City sooner ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn - Volume IV. • Aphra Behn

... basest metals pass. 'Twere folly now a stately[48] pile to raise, To build a playhouse, while you throw down plays; While scenes, machines, and empty operas reign, And for the pencil you the pen disdain: While troops of famish'd Frenchmen hither drive, And laugh at those upon whose alms they live: Old English authors vanish, and give place 40 To these new conquerors of the Norman race. More tamely than your fathers you submit; You're now grown vassals to them in your wit. Mark, when they play, how our fine fops advance ...
— The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Vol II - With Life, Critical Dissertation, and Explanatory Notes • John Dryden



Words linked to "Famish" :   hunger, feed, pop off, exit, give-up the ghost, snuff it, be full, die, deprive, drop dead, buy the farm, conk, decease, go, croak



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