How Do You Say “Starvation” In Spanish?

Spanish is a beautiful language that is spoken by millions of people around the world. Whether you are learning Spanish for business, travel, or personal reasons, it is an incredibly rewarding experience. One of the most important aspects of learning a new language is building your vocabulary. In this article, we will explore how to say “starvation” in Spanish and provide you with some helpful tips for expanding your Spanish vocabulary.

The Spanish word for “starvation” is “inanición”. This word is derived from the Latin word “inanis”, which means “empty” or “void”. Inanición is often used to describe a severe lack of food or nutrients, which can lead to malnutrition and other health problems.

How Do You Pronounce The Spanish Word For “Starvation”?

Learning a new language involves not only mastering the vocabulary but also the pronunciation of words. Mispronouncing a word can lead to confusion and misunderstandings. If you are learning Spanish, you might be wondering how to pronounce the word “starvation.” Here is a guide to help you properly pronounce the word.

Phonetic Breakdown

The Spanish word for “starvation” is “inanición.” The phonetic breakdown of the word is as follows:

  • /i/ – pronounced as “ee” in the English word “see”
  • /na/ – pronounced as “nah”
  • /ni/ – pronounced as “nee”
  • /ción/ – pronounced as “syon” with a soft “s” sound

Putting it all together, the word is pronounced as “ee-nah-nee-syon.”

Tips For Pronunciation

Here are some tips to help you improve your pronunciation of the word “inanición”:

  • Practice saying each syllable slowly and clearly before attempting to say the entire word.
  • Pay attention to the stress in the word. In “inanición,” the stress falls on the second-to-last syllable, which is “ni.”
  • Listen to native speakers pronounce the word and try to mimic their pronunciation.
  • Use online resources, such as pronunciation guides or audio recordings, to help you improve your pronunciation.

By following these tips and practicing regularly, you can improve your Spanish pronunciation and confidently say the word “inanición” without hesitation.

Proper Grammatical Use Of The Spanish Word For “Starvation”

When communicating in Spanish, it is crucial to use proper grammar to convey your message effectively. This applies to the use of the word “starvation” as well. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when using the Spanish word for “starvation”.

Placement Of Starvation In Sentences

In Spanish, the word “starvation” can be translated to “inanición” or “hambre extrema”. It is important to note that the placement of the word “starvation” in a sentence can affect the meaning of the sentence. For example:

  • “La inanición es un problema grave en muchos países” (Starvation is a serious problem in many countries)
  • “Es un problema grave la inanición en muchos países” (Starvation is a serious problem in many countries)

In both sentences, “la inanición” is used to refer to starvation. However, the placement of the word “inanición” changes the emphasis of the sentence. In the first sentence, “la inanición” is the subject of the sentence, while in the second sentence, it is the object.

Verb Conjugations Or Tenses

When using the word “starvation” in a sentence, it is important to use the correct verb conjugation or tense to match the subject. For example:

  • “La inanición causa muchos problemas de salud” (Starvation causes many health problems)
  • “Las personas sufren de inanición en muchas partes del mundo” (People suffer from starvation in many parts of the world)

In the first sentence, “causa” is the third-person singular present tense form of the verb “causar” (to cause) which agrees with the subject “la inanición”. In the second sentence, “sufren” is the third-person plural present tense form of the verb “sufrir” (to suffer) which agrees with the plural subject “las personas”.

Agreement With Gender And Number

In Spanish, nouns have gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural). When using the word “starvation”, it is important to use the correct gender and number agreement. For example:

  • “La inanición afecta a las personas más vulnerables” (Starvation affects the most vulnerable people)
  • “El hambre extrema es un problema que afecta a toda la comunidad” (Extreme hunger is a problem that affects the entire community)

In the first sentence, “personas” is a feminine plural noun, so “las” is used as the feminine plural article and “vulnerables” is the feminine plural adjective that agrees with the noun. In the second sentence, “hambre” is a masculine singular noun, so “el” is used as the masculine singular article, and “comunidad” is a feminine singular noun, so “toda la” is used as the feminine singular article.

Common Exceptions

There are some common exceptions to the rules of using the word “starvation” in Spanish. For example:

  • “Morirse de hambre” is a common expression that means “to die of starvation”
  • “Hambriento” is an adjective that means “hungry” but can also be used to describe extreme hunger, similar to the English word “starving”

It is important to note these exceptions to avoid confusion when communicating in Spanish.

Examples Of Phrases Using The Spanish Word For “Starvation”

When it comes to learning a new language, it’s important to not only understand individual words but also how they are used in phrases and sentences. In this section, we’ll explore some common phrases that include the Spanish word for “starvation” and provide examples of how they are used in context.

Phrases Using “Starvation”

Phrase Translation Usage
Morir de hambre To die of hunger La gente en países pobres a menudo muere de hambre.
Pasar hambre To go hungry Los niños en África pasan hambre todos los días.
Tener hambre To be hungry Después de un día de trabajo, siempre tengo hambre.
Sufrir de desnutrición To suffer from malnutrition Los niños desnutridos necesitan atención médica urgente.

These phrases can be used in a variety of contexts, from everyday conversation to more serious discussions about poverty and hunger. Here are some examples of how they might be used in Spanish dialogue:

Example 1:

Person 1: ¿Has comido hoy?

Person 2: No, no he tenido tiempo. Estoy pasando hambre.

Person 1: Deberías buscar algo de comer.


Person 1: Have you eaten today?

Person 2: No, I haven’t had time. I’m going hungry.

Person 1: You should look for something to eat.

Example 2:

Person 1: ¿Por qué tantas personas en el mundo sufren de desnutrición?

Person 2: Hay muchas causas, como la pobreza y la falta de acceso a alimentos nutritivos.

Person 1: Es una tragedia que tantos niños sufran de desnutrición.


Person 1: Why do so many people in the world suffer from malnutrition?

Person 2: There are many causes, such as poverty and lack of access to nutritious food.

Person 1: It’s a tragedy that so many children suffer from malnutrition.

As you can see, these phrases are useful for expressing a variety of ideas related to hunger and starvation in Spanish. Whether you’re having a casual conversation or discussing a serious issue, knowing these phrases can help you communicate more effectively.

More Contextual Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Starvation”

Understanding the contextual uses of the Spanish word for “starvation” is essential for effective communication in Spanish-speaking countries. While the word “starvation” may seem straightforward, its usage can vary depending on the context.

Formal Usage Of Starvation

In formal settings, such as academic or medical discussions, the word for “starvation” in Spanish is “inanición.” This term is typically reserved for extreme cases of malnutrition, such as those seen in famine-stricken regions.

Informal Usage Of Starvation

In more casual conversations, the word “hambre” is often used to describe the sensation of hunger. While it can also be used to describe a more severe lack of food, it is generally used in a less formal context.

Other Contexts

In addition to the formal and informal uses of the word “starvation,” there are other contexts in which the term may be used. Slang terms, idiomatic expressions, and cultural or historical uses may all influence the way the word is used and understood.

For example, in some Spanish-speaking countries, the word “jambre” is used as a slang term for hunger. Similarly, idiomatic expressions such as “morirse de hambre,” or “to die of hunger,” may be used to describe an extreme level of hunger.

Finally, the historical and cultural context of a particular Spanish-speaking country may also influence the way the word “starvation” is used. For example, in countries with a history of famine, the word for “starvation” may carry a more significant emotional weight.

Popular Cultural Usage

In popular culture, the use of the word “starvation” may vary depending on the medium. In literature and film, for example, the word may be used to describe the effects of poverty or war. In music, the word may be used metaphorically to describe a feeling of emptiness or longing.

Understanding the varying contexts in which the word for “starvation” is used is essential for effective communication in Spanish-speaking countries. Whether in a formal or informal setting, being able to use the word appropriately can help to convey your message clearly and accurately.

Regional Variations Of The Spanish Word For “Starvation”

Spanish is a language spoken in many countries around the world, and like any language, it has regional variations. The word for “starvation” is no exception, and it can vary depending on the country and region in which it is used.

How The Spanish Word For Starvation Is Used In Different Spanish-speaking Countries

In Spain, the word for “starvation” is “inanición.” This word is also used in some Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Colombia. However, in other countries, different words are used. For example, in Argentina, the word “inanición” is not commonly used, and instead, the word “inanidad” is used to refer to starvation.

In Chile, the word for “starvation” is “inanición” as well, but it is not commonly used. Instead, the word “hambre” is more commonly used to refer to hunger and starvation. In Puerto Rico, the word for “starvation” is “inanición” as well, but the word “hambre” is also used.

Regional Pronunciations

Not only does the word for “starvation” vary between countries, but it can also have regional pronunciations. In Spain, the “c” in “inanición” is pronounced like a “th” sound, while in Latin America, it is pronounced like an “s.” Additionally, some Latin American countries may use a different stress pattern when pronouncing the word.

It’s important to keep in mind these regional variations when speaking Spanish, especially if you are traveling to or communicating with someone from a specific country or region. Understanding these differences can help you better communicate and avoid misunderstandings.

Other Uses Of The Spanish Word For “Starvation” In Speaking & Writing

It’s important to note that the Spanish word for “starvation,” hambre, can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Understanding these different uses can help you communicate more effectively in Spanish.

Distinguishing Between Uses

Here are some common uses of the word hambre and how to distinguish between them:

Literal Hunger

The most common use of hambre is to refer to literal hunger, or the physical sensation of needing food. In this context, hambre is used as a noun and is often preceded by tener (to have) or estar (to be). For example:

  • Tengo hambre. (I’m hungry.)
  • Estoy muerto de hambre. (I’m starving.)

Figurative Hunger

Another common use of hambre is to refer to a figurative hunger, or a strong desire or craving for something. In this context, hambre is also used as a noun and can be preceded by tener or sentir (to feel). For example:

  • Tengo hambre de éxito. (I have a hunger for success.)
  • Siento hambre de aventura. (I feel a hunger for adventure.)


Of course, hambre can also be used to refer to actual starvation, or the state of being severely malnourished. In this context, hambre is still used as a noun but is often modified by adjectives like aguda (acute) or crónica (chronic). For example:

  • La aguda hambre en el mundo es un problema grave. (Acute hunger in the world is a serious problem.)
  • La crónica hambre en algunas regiones es alarmante. (Chronic hunger in some regions is alarming.)

By understanding the different uses of hambre, you can communicate more clearly and effectively in Spanish.

Common Words And Phrases Similar To The Spanish Word For “Starvation”

When it comes to describing the state of extreme hunger, “starvation” is just one of many words that can be used. Below are some common synonyms and related terms that can be used to describe this condition.

Synonyms And Related Terms

Word/Phrase Definition
Famine A widespread scarcity of food, often due to natural disasters or political/economic instability.
Hunger A strong desire or need for food.
Malnutrition A condition caused by a lack of essential nutrients in the diet.
Undernourishment A condition caused by a lack of sufficient food or nutrients.
Emaciation A condition of being abnormally thin or weak due to lack of nutrition.

While these words are all related to the concept of “starvation,” they each have slightly different connotations. For example, “famine” implies a larger-scale shortage of food, while “hunger” can refer to a less severe form of the condition. “Malnutrition” and “undernourishment” are both more specific terms that describe the underlying causes of starvation, while “emaciation” focuses on the physical effects of the condition.


While there are many words that can be used to describe starvation, there are relatively few antonyms (words that mean the opposite). Some possible antonyms for “starvation” include:

  • Satiety
  • Satisfaction
  • Fullness
  • Nourishment

These words all describe a state of being well-fed and satisfied, which is the opposite of starvation. However, it’s worth noting that some of these words (such as “nourishment”) are more specific than others and may not always be appropriate as direct antonyms for “starvation.”

Mistakes To Avoid When Using The Spanish Word For “Starvation”

When it comes to using the Spanish word for “starvation,” non-native speakers often make a few common mistakes. These include:

  • Using the wrong word entirely
  • Using the wrong form of the word
  • Using the word incorrectly in a sentence

Highlighting These Mistakes And Providing Tips To Avoid Them

To avoid making these mistakes, it’s important to understand the correct word to use and how to use it properly. Here are a few tips to help you avoid these common errors:

  1. Use the correct word: The Spanish word for “starvation” is “inanición.” Make sure you are using this word and not a similar word that may have a different meaning.
  2. Use the correct form: “Inanición” is a noun, so make sure you are using it as such. Don’t use it as a verb or an adjective.
  3. Use the word correctly in a sentence: When using “inanición” in a sentence, make sure it agrees in gender and number with the noun it is describing. For example, “La inanición es un problema grave” (Starvation is a serious problem) uses the feminine singular form of the word because “problema” is a feminine singular noun.

By following these tips, you can avoid common mistakes and use the Spanish word for “starvation” correctly in your writing and conversations.

Remember, using the correct word and using it properly is important not only for communicating effectively but also for showing respect for the language and culture you are engaging with.


In conclusion, we have explored the various ways to say “starvation” in Spanish. From the common term “hambre” to the more specific “inanición,” the Spanish language provides a range of vocabulary to describe this serious issue.

It is important to remember that starvation is a global problem affecting millions of people. By expanding our vocabulary in different languages, we can raise awareness and promote action towards ending hunger.

We encourage you to practice and use these terms in real-life conversations. By doing so, you can contribute to the fight against hunger and help make a difference in the world.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority and He’s a seasoned innovator, harnessing the power of technology to connect cultures through language. His worse translation though is when he refers to “pancakes” as “flat waffles”.