• WordNet 3.6
    • v starch stiffen with starch "starch clothes"
    • n starch a commercial preparation of starch that is used to stiffen textile fabrics in laundering
    • n starch 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
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Granules of Potato Starch Granules of Potato Starch

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana the sweeter it will taste.
    • Starch (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.
    • Starch Fig.: A stiff, formal manner; formality.
    • a Starch stärch Stiff; precise; rigid.
    • v. t Starch To stiffen with starch.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Tapioca is made from the starch in the roots of a poisonous plant known as bitter cassava.
    • starch Strong; hard; tough.
    • starch Rigid; hence, precise.
    • n starch A proximate principle of plants, having the formula C6H10O5. or a multiple of that formula. It is a white opaque glistening powder, odorless, tasteless, and insoluble in cold water, alcohol, or ether. Aqueous solutions containing free iodine impart to starch an intense and very characteristic blue color. It is not crystalline, but occurs naturally in fine granules, which are always made up of fine concentric layers. Whether the grains contain a small quantity of another chemical body, allied to but not identical with starch, called starch cellulose or farinose, is a disputed question. When heated with water to 60°-70° C., starch swells up and forms a paste or jelly. When heated in the dry state to l50°-200° C., it is converted into dextrine, a soluble gum-like body much used as a cheap substitute for gum arabic. Heated with dilute mineral acids, or digested with saliva, pancreatic juice, diastase, or certain other enzyms, starch dissolves, and is resolved into a number of products, which are chiefly dextrine, maltose, and dextrose—the last two being fermentable sugars. The malting of barley by brewers effects this change in the starch of the grain, and so prepares it for vinous fermentation. Starch is widely distributed. being formed in all vegetable cells containing chlorophyl-grains under the action of sunlight, and deposited in all parts of the plant which serve as a reserve store of plant-food. Hence grains and seeds contain an abundance of it, also numerous tubers and rhizomes, as the potato and the arrowroot, and the stem and pith of many plants, as the sago-plant. The chief commercial sources of supply are wheat, corn, and potatoes. From these it is manufactured on an extensive scale, being used in the arts, for laundry purposes, sizing, finishing calicos, thickening colors and mordants in calico-printing, and for other purposes. Starch forms the greatest part of all farinaceous substances, particularly of wheat-flour.
    • n starch 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. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the starch used for ruffs, cuffs, etc., was frequently colored, yellow being at one time extremely fashionable. Blue starch was affected by the Puritans.
    • n starch A stiff, formal manner; starchedness.
    • starch To stiffen with starch.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Colgate Company started out making starch, soap, and candles.
    • n Starch stärch the pure fecula or white farinaceous matter of vegetables, yielding a translucent jelly used for stiffening clothes in the laundry: stiffness, formality
    • adj Starch stiff, rigid, formal
    • ***


  • Edward M. Forster
    “Faith, to my mind, is a stiffening process, a sort of mental starch, which ought to be applied as sparingly as possible.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From starch, stiff, cf. G. stärke, fr. stark, strong


In literature:

Would it not have been wiser as well as neater, for her to have plain, untrimmed underwear, and iron it without starching?
"The Secret of a Happy Home (1896)" by Marion Harland
Starch will be found in the leaf wherever there was green coloring matter in it, while the parts that were white will show no starch.
"The First Book of Farming" by Charles L. Goodrich
The cornstalk will always be able to work cheaper than the chemist in the manufacture of starch.
"Creative Chemistry" by Edwin E. Slosson
In sprouting, the starch of the grain is changed to sugar.
"First Book in Physiology and Hygiene" by J.H. Kellogg
Sift sugar and starch and add sufficient boiling water to moisten, beat smooth and spread on the cake.
"Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book" by Mary A. Wilson
For instance a great deal of starch had been imported under the denomination of flour from Ireland.
"King's Cutters and Smugglers 1700-1855" by E. Keble Chatterton
Starched pieces may need a little further hand sprinkling.
"Fowler's Household Helps" by A. L. Fowler
Once I was as full of romance as a water-chestnut is of starch.
"Parrot & Co." by Harold MacGrath
The discharge is thick, starch-like, and generally irritating.
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce
Starch your sweetheart's handkerchief and he will love you more.
"Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves" by Work Projects Administration

In poetry:

A was an Area Arch
Where washerwomen sat;
They made a lot of lovely starch
To starch Papa's cravat.
"Nonsense Alphabet" by Edward Lear
I do not love the Sabbath,
The soapsuds and the starch,
The troops of solemn people
Who to Salvation march.
"The Boy Out Of Church" by Robert Graves
Ancestors grim that stare
Stiff, starched, and haughty down
From the oaken wall of the noble hall
Put on a sterner frown.
"The Mirror" by Madison Julius Cawein
Here let us part! I will not say,
O lady free from scents and starch,
That you are like, in any way,
The authoress of “Middlemarch”.
"Black Lizzie" by Henry Kendall
Here's the shirt and chainmail Black Prince wore -
To starch and iron that were real tricky:
It took three boilermakers to put on his shirt,
And a blacksmith to put on his dicky.
"The Beefeater" by Weston and Lee
"Gran'ma, I'm come to spend the day,
'Cause mother finds me in the way.
Gran'ma, I'll peg the hankies out;
Gran'ma, I'll stir the starch about;
Gran'ma, I'm come, because, you see,
At home, they can't put up with me."
"On Washing Day" by Fay Inchfawn

In news:

Research Shows Resistant Starch is Beneficial to Regularity .
According to ingredient manufacturer Tate & Lyle, Healthy adults can experience an improvement in bowel habits by consuming more resistant starch.
Finding lighter options right in our garden compared carb-loaded starches has been a common theme in this year's Growing Healthy segments.
Superabsorbent Corn Starch Polymer for Cosmetics.
'No Starch Press' releases 'Master Your Mac'.
Rapid Test Targets Starch Digestibility.
Keeping Corn Starch at Work.
AkzoNobel has finalized the $1.3 billion sale of its National Starch business.
Corn Products to Buy National Starch for $1.3 Billion.
Depending on legislation, it can be labeled as a corn starch / starch and may be suitable for products making a natural claim.
To prepare the blueberry filling, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the blueberries , sugar, corn starch, and salt, and bring to a boil.
DeROY, Cecilia "Cil" Starch, 91, of Delaware, OH, formerly of Dillonvale, died Saturday November 10, 2012, at Sarah Health Care Center Delaware, OH.
She was born August 28, 1921, in Allentown, Pa. A daughter of the late John and Julia (Kohopeka) Starch.
DEROY, Cecilia Starch, 91, of Delaware, OH, formerly Dillonvale, died Saturday, November 10, 2012, at Sarah Health Care Center, Delaware, OH.
Once grated however, DO NOT leave them in water as it will wash away the starch which helps the latkes crisp up when fried.

In science:

While the random aggregation of the amplifying fibers itself provides some scattering, the latter was enhanced in our experiments by the addition of passive scatterers like non-active fiber pieces or granular starch.
Levy statistical fluctuations from a Random Amplifying Medium
The tails of the histograms can be fitted to the power law function (g−ν ) with exponents ν = 0.62 and 1.68, for systems with passive scattering medium as non-active white fiber pieces and granular starch respectively.
Levy statistical fluctuations from a Random Amplifying Medium