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Senior Member
Hello. I've just read in the Longman Dictionary that Famished is an informal word, but right underneath there were comparisons between other synonyms from Thesaurus and it said "Famished is less common and sounds a little more formal than starving or ravenous". That's kind of contradictory... Do you use this word in a formal or informal context?

Thank you for your answers.


  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It depends on how the word is used. Famished means starving. Colloquially, famished is used as hyperbole to mean "very hungry".

    A: "Is there anything to eat? I didn't have time to eat my breakfast and I'm famished." I don't think that in this sense famished is more formal, but it is of a higher register. It is a less common word in everyday conversation.

    More formally, "Doctors treated many of the famished refugees for malnutrition."
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