If we are malnourished, we can die by starvation.

Is there a word that is the opposite of starvation? We can die of _________ ?

  • 3
    There's gluttony, but I don't know that you can die from it. – Nicole Mar 4 '15 at 15:38
  • Does overconsumption work for you? – Ian MacDonald Mar 4 '15 at 15:39
  • @Nicole: You can die from it, but it usually takes years for morbid obesity to cancel one's contract with existence. – Robusto Mar 4 '15 at 15:40
  • Maybe gourmecide? – bib Mar 4 '15 at 16:12
  • Or thanatophage? – bib Mar 4 '15 at 16:15

The word you are looking for is planteration. It is rarely used. Gene Wolfe did so, however, in his Sword of the Lictor:

“If you knew how much I am forced to eat and drink for courtesy’s sake, you’d know how much I relish the company of someone whose hospitable offers I can refuse. I don’t suppose your fraternity has ever considered using food as a torment, instead of starvation?”

“It is called planteration, Archon.”

That is a way to torture someone, perhaps to death, by force-feeding them as though they were a goose being fattened for foie gras.

For example, instead of a normal Happy Thanksgiving wish, blogger Jim Ryan wrote in 2005:

Happy Planteration Day!

Just wanted to wish anyone reading this a happy recovery from Thanksgiving with the hope that a stomach pump wasn't required. :)

  • 1
    ahh, good memories. – anongoodnurse Mar 4 '15 at 15:44
  • Dying of planteration sounds good – krikara Mar 4 '15 at 16:22
  • 4
    The Oxford English Dictionary has never heard of it. This is unusual for a word that exists. Do you have any dictionary entry for it? – WS2 Mar 4 '15 at 18:49
  • According to the accepted answer to this question, planteration is a made up word. (Let me know if there's a better way to link to an answer on another question, I'm still learning) – brando Mar 4 '15 at 19:55
  • @Brando That would be wrong: Wolfe was very careful never to invent his own words. He has essays about this in which he talks all about this, including how some of his choicer words are not in the OED. But all are real words albeit rare, and with legitimate pedigrees once you dig deep enough. – tchrist Mar 4 '15 at 20:16

It depends on how they died. If you mean they died directly from overeating, you could say "We can die from gorging (ourselves)." Or you would say what a person gorged himself on, as in this article: Man Dies After Gorging on 43 Cream, Banana-Filled Pancakes.

If they didn't die directly from stuffing themselves, you could say they died from obesity.


The opposite of starving to death can be either death from morbid obestiy (yes, indeed, it kills) or death from binge eating (usually the death results from vomiting and aspiration or bleeding).

If I were filling the blank, I'd say "morbid obesity".

  • I like this answer because the antonym morbid obesity occurs over time as does starvation. Gorging is an acute process, so not a good a fit. – Minnow Mar 4 '15 at 18:44

I think in any case overeating is the most appropriate word. (as in, death by overeating).

If you force yourself to eat too much in one sitting, the usual cause of death would be stomach rupture. Your body will try to avoid that by making you vomit though.

On the other hand, you can die from poisoning also if it is a toxic food. For example, apple seed is toxic but if you eat a few, it won't effect you; if you eat a lot of apple seeds, you can die from poisoning.*

There can be long term side effects that can cause death as well. It can be related to compulsive overeating:

For example, compulsive overeating usually results in weight gain and obesity, although it is not the only cause thereof. In addition, compulsive overeating could potentially lead to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, and major depression. Additional long-term side effects of the condition include kidney disease, arthritis, bone deterioration, and stroke. In severe cases, compulsive overeating can result in death. [Wikipedia]

Bonus readings:



  • the excessive intake of food, especially in unbalanced proportions.

(Random House Dictionary)


Death by gastrohypoxia. Large volumes of oxygen required for uber digestion will result in limited oxygen for other vital organs and processes. Vomiting is the body's attempt to rid the stomach of digesta, thus allowing available oxygen to continue to support life.

  • 1
    Welcome to the Stack Exchange site for the English language. Please provide citations that support your statements, as well as explaining exactly how vomiting has to do with all of this. – VTH Aug 22 '18 at 16:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.