STARVATION, the state of being deprived of the essentials of nutrition, particularly of food, the suffering of the extremities of hunger and also of cold (see HUNGER AND THIRST). The word is an invented hybrid, attributed, according to the accepted story, to Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, who used it in a parliamentary debate on American matters in 1775 and gained thereby the nickname of " Starvation Dundas " (see H. Walpole's Letters, ed. Cunningham, viii. 30; and Notes and Queries no. 225). The English word "to starve " meant originally " to die," as in O. Eng. stcorfan, Du. stenien, Ger. slerben, but was particularly applied to death from hunger or cold.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)