I know the word that describes extreme hunger.

I'm hungry. I can wait for food for some time.
I'm famished, waiting is not possible.

Famished is very hungry. Since there's a word to describe 'extreme hunger', I'm pretty sure there must be a word for 'extreme thirst'.

I'm thirsty. But I can wait for water to come.
I'm ________, waiting is not possible.

What's the word to fill in the blank?

  • 6
    I usually think of famished as "having no food for quite some time", so in this sense, dehydrated would work perfectly fine for me. However, you probably are looking for parched. Jul 15, 2014 at 11:48
  • 3
    I'd vote for parched if it were presented as an answer.
    – Chris
    Jul 16, 2014 at 3:04
  • 1
    @Chris- So would I.
    – Jim
    Jul 16, 2014 at 4:05
  • 2
    Some of the younger generation will routinely just say, "I'm way thirsty"
    – Jim
    Jul 16, 2014 at 4:32
  • 1
    @Jim thanks for making me somewhat younger! :) I'll practice that when I'm with adolescents. haha.
    – Maulik V
    Jul 16, 2014 at 4:37

2 Answers 2


The drink parallel of famished is parched.

Dictionary.com main section
5. verb (used without object) to suffer from heat, thirst, or need of water.
Dictionary.com "World English Dictionary" section
2. (tr; usually passive) to make very thirsty: I was parched after the run

Dehydrated is a more clinical term, and would be parallel to malnourished, I think.

Both famished and parched can be used in both formal and informal contexts, although they're frequently used with a bit of hyperbole implied, which skews them toward the informal.

I'm so parched I think I could drink a river.

There are also a lot of idioms out there to signify extreme thirst, such as the "spitting cotton" one mentioned by CopperKettle, but if you're looking for the most straightforward parallel to famished, then you really can't do better than parched.


I've just recalled one Southern expression I learned from Shelby Foote's Civil War, so I'll add it as my 2¢:

I'm thirsty. But I can wait for water to come.
I'm (so dry I'm) spitting cotton, waiting is not possible.

I have no idea how widely it's used now.


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