One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[with object]eke something out
1Make an amount or supply of something last longer by using or consuming it frugally.‘the remains of yesterday's stew could be eked out to make another meal’
economize on, skimp on, be economical with, be more economical with, make economies with, scrimp and scrape, saveaugment, add to, increase, supplementView synonyms
- ‘Except when I tell the story it takes me about ten minutes to eke it out.’
- ‘There is no money to pay the bills and Mae tops up a half-empty bottle of milk to eke it out.’
- ‘As I write page after page of this I realize that I could eke a book out of this review.’
- ‘In other words, he ekes the maximum out of his action.’
- ‘Deposit your redundancy cheque in a Best Buy high-interest easy-access savings account, and try to eke it out for as long as you can.’
- ‘This will be how your final hours will be eked out.’
- ‘Sounds great, but this technology is not designed to replace oil, merely to eke it out.’
- ‘She said: ‘We shared a can of fruit salad and a can of Coke - we didn't have many treats so we eked them out.’
- 1.1 Manage to make a living with difficulty.‘many traders barely eked out a living’
scrape, scratch, scrimpView synonyms
- ‘He strongly admires him because he knows how tough it is to eke a living out of one of Australia's last frontiers.’
- ‘Some of these mines have killed and wounded their military opponents, but many of the victims are women and children who have remained in the area attempting to eke a living out of the now lethal farm land.’
- ‘The levels of poverty hit you as soon as you walk out of the airport and see people trying to eke a living out of the very earth they walk on.’
- ‘Even she, the governor's daughter, was eking it out on an annual salary roughly equivalent to that of a 7-11 night manager - no coddling, no hand-outs.’
Old English ēacian, ēcan (in the sense ‘increase’), of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse auka.
- ‘speak me thy name and eke thy place of birth’archaic term for also
- ‘And eke thou hast my heart in hold.’
- ‘And eke within the castle were Springoldes, gonnes, bowes, and archers.’
Old English, of Germanic origin.
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