Etymology
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famine (n.)

mid-14c., from Old French famine "famine, starvation" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *famina, from Latin fames "hunger, starvation, famine," which is of unknown origin.

updated on October 12, 2014

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Definitions of famine from WordNet

famine (n.)
an acute insufficiency;
Synonyms: dearth / shortage
famine (n.)
a severe shortage of food (as through crop failure) resulting in violent hunger and starvation and death;
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.