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Hungry, Peckish, Starving and Famished

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Hungry? It's a word we use a lot. Here's how we can say a little hungry and very hungry in English. Time to build up your vocabulary.


Peckish - to be a little hungry. This is a casual word, mostly used in British English.

"There's some biscuits here if you are feeling peckish."

"I'm starting to feel a little peckish. I'm going to buy a sandwich"


Starving - to be very hungry. When used in casual English it means very hungry. Although we use starving to mean very hungry in casual English, it actually means to be dieing from not having enough to eat. e.g. "The man thought he might starve to death after he got lost in the mountains." The noun is starvation; the verb is starve. Here are a couple of examples which mean very hungry.

"I haven't eaten all day, I'm starving!."

"The first few days of my diet were the worst, I was starving!"

Note: we also use famished to mean very hungry. It has the same meaning as starving. e.g. "Great, the pizza's here. I'm famished!"

  • 1) I'm ___, let's eat!

  • 2) The prisoner was left to ___ in his cell.

  • 3) ___ was a big problem in East Africa in the mid-80s.

  • 4) I haven't eaten for 24 hours! I'm ___!