Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to starve: feed a cold starve a fever
feed a cold, starve a fever
Antiquated advice that suggests that someone with a cold should eat, while someone with a fever should fast. Most health experts now agree that "starving" is not the right course for either malady. My grandmother always said "feed a cold, starve a fever," but it's best to stay properly nourished even when you have a high temperature.
To be very hungry. Mom, I'm starving! Is dinner almost ready?
starve for (something)
To have an intense need or longing for something; to be deprived of something. You'd think the child was starved for attention from the way he screams and shouts around his parents. We've been starving for reliable staff at the hotel lately.
starve (someone or something) of (something)
To withhold some commodity or resource from someone or something to the detriment of that person or thing. Often used in passive constructions. The authoritarian government has been accused of starving its citizens of essential services in order to maximize how much money can be invested in its military. The hotel has been starved of short-term staff ever since the local college closed. The president, unable to ban the clinics due to the constitution, has instead opted to starve them of funds and impose intense restrictions on how they are allowed to operate.
starve (someone or something) out
To deprive someone or something of food in order to force them to submit or surrender. The terrorists have indicated that they will not leave the building peacefully, so police are planning to simply starve them out. The empire's army began starving the rebel city out, its siege lasting nearly three months.
Feed a cold and starve a fever.
Prov. You should feed someone who has a cold, and withhold food from someone who has a fever.; (or, interpreted differently) If you feed someone who has a cold, that will ward off a fever. Jill: I don't feel like going out to lunch with you. I have a cold. Jane: All the more reason you should get something to eat. Feed a cold and starve a fever, you know.
starve for some food
to be very hungry for something. I am just starved for some fresh peaches. We were starved for dinner by the time we finally got to eat.
starve for someone or something
Fig. to have a strong desire or need for someone or something. (Based on starved for some food.) I am starved for Jane. I miss her so! Claire was starved for affection.
starve (someone or an animal) into something
to force someone or an animal to do something by starvation. The torturers finally starved the prisoner into telling the battle plans. They starved the water buffalo into a state of weakness.
starve (someone or an animal) out of some placeand starve someone or an animal out
to force a living creature to come out of a hiding place or a place of security by starvation. The attackers tried to starve the people out of the walled city. We tried to starve out the mice.
be ˈstarving (for something)(also be ˈstarved especially American English ) (informal) feel very hungry: When’s dinner? I’m starving!
To cause someone or something to suffer from lack of something. Used in the passive: The dog was starved for attention.
To deprive someone or something of some resource, resulting in its depletion: Doctors tried to destroy the cancerous cells by starving them of oxygen. The agency has been starved of money by people in Congress who oppose it.
To force someone or something to surrender by depriving them of food, as in a siege: The police starved out the criminals, who had refused to leave their apartment. If they refuse to surrender the garrison, we'll just starve them out.