• IPA: /ˈfæmɪn/


  1. (uncountable) Extreme shortage of food in a region.
    • 1971, Central Institute of Research & Training in Public Cooperation
      Dr. Bhatia pointed out that famine had occurred in all ages and in all societies where means of communication and transport were not developed.
  2. (countable) A period of extreme shortage of food in a region.
    • 1986, United States Congress, House Select Committee on Hunger, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Famine and Recovery in Africa
      The root causes of the current famine are known: poverty, low health standards....
  3. (dated) Starvation or malnutrition.
    • 1871 (orig. 426), Augustine, The City of God, transl. Marcus Dods:
      His own flesh, however, which he lost by famine, shall be restored to him by Him who can recover even what has evaporated.
  4. Severe shortage or lack of something.
    • the Lancashire Cotton Famine
Translations Translations
Proper noun
  1. (mythology) The personification of famine, often depicted riding a black horse.
  • the black rider
  • Russian: Го́лод

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