One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[with object]eke something out
1Manage to support oneself or make a living with difficulty.‘they eked out their livelihoods from the soil’
scrape, scratch, scrimpView synonyms
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- 1.1 Make 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
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘As I write page after page of this I realize that I could eke a book out of this review.’
- ‘Except when I tell the story it takes me about ten minutes to eke it out.’
- ‘In other words, he ekes the maximum out of his action.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘There is no money to pay the bills and Mae tops up a half-empty bottle of milk to eke it out.’
- 1.2 Obtain or create, but just barely.‘Tennessee eked out a 74–73 overtime victory’
- ‘The team appear to have become specialists at eking points out of games but while, on previous occasions, they have left frustrated at their failure to win, this time they could take satisfaction.’
- ‘The decisive juncture of these cross-currents occurred, as noted, at the very end of the fourth game, and when Pearson eked it out he was home free in the fifth.’
- ‘But our best tax lawyers in the Administration claim that if they were in private practice only a few billable hours might be eked out helping a major company get this set up.’
- ‘It's possible to eke this function out of lesser components, but it won't last like a pure setup for this system.’
- ‘Then Katich, presumably desperate to eke some runs out of the tail and help the team cross 200, attempted a pull shot which didn't go further than keeper Jones.’
- ‘Perhaps it's appropriate on some level that a film that so unashamedly distorts the sickness of senility to its own ends also requires the audience to shut off their brains to eke any enjoyment out of it.’
- ‘As the threat level rises, so the concessions are eked out.’
Old English ēacian, ēcan (in the sense ‘increase’), of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse auka.
- archaic term for also
- ‘And eke within the castle were Springoldes, gonnes, bowes, and archers.’
- ‘And eke thou hast my heart in hold.’
Old English, of Germanic origin.
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