Etymology
Advertisement
thirst (n.)

Old English þurst, from Proto-Germanic *thurstu- (source also of Old Saxon thurst, Frisian torst, Dutch dorst, Old High German and German durst), from Proto-Germanic verbal stem *thurs- (source also of Gothic thaursjan, Old English thyrre), from PIE root *ters- "to dry." Figurative sense of "vehement desire" is attested from c. 1200.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
thirst (v.)

Old English þyrstan "to thirst, thirst after," from the noun (see thirst (n.)); the figurative sense of the verb was present in Old English. Compare Old Saxon thurstian, Dutch dorsten, Old High German dursten, German dürsten, all verbs from nouns. Related: Thirsted; thirsting.

Related entries & more 
athirst (adj.)

"thirsting, thirsty," late Old English; see a- (1) + thirst (v.).

Related entries & more 
thirsty (adj.)

Old English þurstig "thirsty, greedy;" see thirst (n.) + -y (2). Related: Thirstily; thirstiness. Similar formation in Old Frisian, Dutch dorstig, German durstig.

Related entries & more 
*ters- 

Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to dry."

It forms all or part of: inter; Mediterranean; metatarsal; parterre; subterranean; tarsal; tarsus; Tartuffe; terra; terrace; terra-cotta; terrain; terran; terraqueous; terrarium; terrene; terrestrial; terrier; territory; thirst; toast; torrent; torrid; turmeric; tureen.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit tarsayati "dries up;" Avestan tarshu- "dry, solid;" Greek teresesthai "to become or be dry," tersainein "to make dry;" Latin torrere "dry up, parch," terra "earth, land;" Gothic þaursus "dry, barren," Old High German thurri, German dürr, Old English þyrre "dry;" Old English þurstig "thirsty."

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
polydipsia (n.)

in pathology, "excessive thirst," 1650s, from Greek polydipsios "very thirsty," from polys "much, many" (from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill") + dipsa "thirst" (a word of unknown origin) + -ia "condition of."

Related entries & more 
unquenchable (adj.)

late 14c., of fire; 1560s, of thirst, from un- (1) "not" + quench (v.) + -able. Related: Unquenchably.

Related entries & more 
dipsomania (n.)

1843, "morbid craving for alcohol," also used of the temporary madness caused by excessive drinking, coined in medical Latin from Greek dipsa "thirst" (which is of unknown origin) + mania. It is recorded earlier in Italian (1829) and German (1830) medical works.

Related entries & more 
hunger (n.)

Old English hunger, hungor "unease or pain caused by lack of food, debility from lack of food, craving appetite," also "famine, scarcity of food in a place," from Proto-Germanic *hungraz (source also of Old Frisian hunger, Old Saxon hungar, Old High German hungar, Old Norse hungr, German hunger, Dutch honger, Gothic huhrus), probably from PIE root *kenk- (2) "to suffer hunger or thirst" (source also of Sanskrit kakate "to thirst;" Lithuanian kanka "pain, ache; torment, affliction;" Greek kagkanos "dry," polykagkes "drying"). From c. 1200 as "a strong or eager desire" (originally spiritual). Hunger strike attested from 1885; earliest references are to prisoners in Russia.

Related entries & more 
slake (v.)

late Old English sleacian, slacian "become slack or remiss; slacken an effort" (intransitive); "delay, retard" (transitive), from slæc "lax" (see slack (adj.)). Transitive sense of "make slack" is from late 12c. Sense of "allay, diminish in force, quench, extinguish" (in reference to thirst, hunger, desire, wrath, etc.) first recorded early 14c. via notion of "make slack or inactive." Related: Slaked; slaking.

Related entries & more