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Definition of "famine" []

  • A drastic, wide-reaching food shortage. (noun)
  • A drastic shortage; a dearth. (noun)
  • Severe hunger; starvation. (noun)
  • Archaic Extreme appetite. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "famine" in a sentence
  • "We have seen the effects of cotton famine, and I am sure matters would have come to a sad pass if we were to witness a _convict famine_, and to be compelled to open our workhouse gates to the starving families of our convict guardians."
  • "On the occasion of a severe famine in Burgundy, she collected a band of her mendicant friends in a stable, and burned them all, saying that '_par pitié elle hauoit faict cela, considerant les peines que ces pauvres debuoient endurer en temps de si grande et tant estrange famine_.'"
  • ""The emotive power of the word famine has been overused often, to try to develop a funding source for a problem that usually truly needed assistance, but was not really about famine," says Gary Eilerts, program manager at the U.S. Agency for International Development for the Famine Early Warning System Network, or FEWS NET, which is funded by USAID."