Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A naturally abundant nutrient carbohydrate, (C6H10O5)n, found chiefly in the seeds, fruits, tubers, roots, and stem pith of plants, notably in corn, potatoes, wheat, and rice, and varying widely in appearance according to source but commonly prepared as a white amorphous tasteless powder.
  • noun Any of various substances, such as natural starch, used to stiffen cloth, as in laundering.
  • noun Foods having a high content of starch, as rice, breads, and potatoes.
  • noun Stiff behavior.
  • noun Vigor; mettle.
  • transitive verb To stiffen with starch.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Strong; hard; tough.
  • Rigid; hence, precise.
  • To stiffen with starch.
  • noun A proximate principle of plants, having the formula C6H10O5. or a multiple of that formula.
  • noun A preparation of commercial starch with boiling (or less frequently cold) water, used in the laundry or factory for stiffening linen or cotton fabrics before ironing.
  • noun A stiff, formal manner; starchedness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective rare Stiff; precise; rigid.
  • noun (Chem.) A widely diffused vegetable substance found especially in seeds, bulbs, and tubers, and extracted (as from potatoes, corn, rice, etc.) as a white, glistening, granular or powdery substance, without taste or smell, and giving a very peculiar creaking sound when rubbed between the fingers. It is used as a food, in the production of commercial grape sugar, for stiffening linen in laundries, in making paste, etc.
  • noun Fig.: A stiff, formal manner; formality.
  • noun (Bot.) the grape hyacinth; -- so called because the flowers have the smell of boiled starch. See under Grape.
  • transitive verb To stiffen with starch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable A widely diffused vegetable substance found especially in seeds, bulbs, and tubers, and extracted (as from potatoes, corn, rice, etc.) as a white, glistening, granular or powdery substance, without taste or smell, and giving a very peculiar creaking sound when rubbed between the fingers. It is used as a food, in the production of commercial grape sugar, for stiffening linen in laundries, in making paste, etc.
  • noun nutrition, countable Carbohydrates, as with grain and potato based foods.
  • noun uncountable, figuratively A stiff, formal manner; formality.
  • noun countable Any of various starch-like substances used as a laundry stiffener
  • verb To apply or treat with laundry starch, to create a hard, smooth surface.
  • adjective Stiff; precise; rigid.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a complex carbohydrate found chiefly in seeds, fruits, tubers, roots and stem pith of plants, notably in corn, potatoes, wheat, and rice; an important foodstuff and used otherwise especially in adhesives and as fillers and stiffeners for paper and textiles
  • verb stiffen with starch
  • noun a commercial preparation of starch that is used to stiffen textile fabrics in laundering

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English starche, substance used to stiffen cloth (sense uncertain), from sterchen, to stiffen, from Old English *stercan; see ster- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English stearc ("stark, strong, rough"). See also stark. Compare German stärke.

Examples

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