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definition of the word starch

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


countable and uncountable; starches

starch (countable and uncountable; plural starches)

  1. (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.
  2. (nutrition, countable) Carbohydrates, as with grain and potato based foods.
  3. (uncountable, figuratively) A stiff, formal manner; formality.
  4. (countable) Any of various starch-like substances used as a laundry stiffener

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