Perish means to die, but it suggests a slow, gradual, nonviolent death. Starving to death is perishing. Getting hit by a bus is just plain getting killed.

Perish is the kind of word you can imagine being spoken by a helpless princess in a fairy tale or any other damsel in distress––"If I am not rescued soon by my valiant knight," she might say, "I shall perish if I'm left alone up here in this tower to starve."

Definitions of perish
  1. verb
    pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life
    “The children perished in the fire”
    synonyms: buy the farm, cash in one's chips, choke, conk, croak, decease, die, drop dead, exit, expire, give-up the ghost, go, kick the bucket, pass, pass away, pop off, snuff it
    break, break down, conk out, die, fail, give out, give way, go, go bad
    stop operating or functioning
    suffer or face the pain of death
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    be born
    come into existence through birth
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    cease development, die, and be aborted
    asphyxiate, stifle, suffocate
    be asphyxiated; die from lack of oxygen
    buy it, pip out
    be killed or die;
    die from being submerged in water, getting water into the lungs, and asphyxiating
    die before; die earlier than
    famish, starve
    die of food deprivation
    die, as in battle or in a hunt
    succumb, yield
    be fatally overwhelmed
    die from strangulation
    type of:
    change state, turn
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
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