Starch, n. [From starch stiff,
cf. G. stärke, fr. stark strong.]
1. (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 is a carbohydrate, being the typical amylose,
C6H10O5, and is detected by the fine
blue color given to it by free iodine. It is not fermentable as such,
but is changed by diastase into dextrin and maltose, and by heating
with dilute acids into dextrose. Cf. Sugar, Inulin, and
2. Fig.: A stiff, formal manner;
Starch hyacinth (Bot.), the grape
hyacinth; -- so called because the flowers have the smell of boiled
starch. See under Grape.
Starch (stärch), a. [AS.
stearc stark, strong, rough. See Stark.] Stiff;
precise; rigid. [R.] Killingbeck.
Starch, v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Starched (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Starching.] To stiffen with starch.