According to Naver Korean dictionary, '굶주리다' means:

동사 (verb)

먹을 것이 없어서 배를 곯다. Starve without anything to eat.

The verb seems to be related with '굶다' which means:

동사 (verb)

「…을」 끼니를 거르다. Skip one's meal.

What's the difference between the two verbs? Does '주리다' in '굶주리다' have any special function in Korean?

3 Answers 3


According to the Daum dictionary, http://dic.daum.net/word/view.do?wordid=kkw000235678&supid=kku000301188, '주리다' and '굶주리다' has same meaning.

주리다 : 1. 먹을 만큼 먹지 못하여 배를 곯다

In english, (I'm not sure this is perfect translation)

starving because of not eating something enough

For a reference, 곯다 is also similar word.


굶다 is usually simply describing a person who stopped eating a meal.

Example: 종일 굶었더니 배고파 견딜 수가 없다. -> Being hungry the whole day, I cannot endure anymore.

굶주리다 tend to be used when starvation occurs, which has a larger scale in most cases.

Yet I don't think this is a big difference.

I would tend to think like this:

Using 굶주리다, you are expressing strong desire to eat when you are hungry. Using 굶다, however, does not express this meaning.

Correct me if I am wrong.


1) 굶다 skip one time

점심을 굶다. I do not eat lunch.

2) 주리다 = 굶주리다 skip several times.

배고픔에 굶주리니 병을 얻었다 I did not eat frequently so that I obtained an illness.

@주리다 is not used frequently in a real situation.

3) 곯다 rotten or a bad situation

달걀이 곯았다. This egg was rotten.

나는 먹을 것이 없어 배가 곯다. Because I have no food, so my stomach is in bad situation.

(= I did not eat frequently so that my stomach does not work = 나는 굶주렸다)

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