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eke1

[eek]
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verb (used with object), eked, ek·ing.
  1. to increase; enlarge; lengthen.
Verb Phrases
  1. eke out,
    1. to make (a living) or support (existence) laboriously: They managed to eke out a living by farming a small piece of land.
    2. to supplement; add to; stretch: to eke out an income with odd jobs.

Origin of eke1

before 1000; Middle English eken, Old English ēac(i)an (intransitive), derivative of ēaca (noun) increase; Middle English echen, Old English ēcan, variant of īecan (transitive) < West Germanic *aukjan; both akin to Old Norse auka, Gothic aukan, Latin augēre, Greek auxánein to increase, amplify
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for eke out

eke out

verb (tr, adverb)
  1. to make (a supply) last, esp by frugal usethey eked out what little food was left
  2. to support (existence) with difficulty and effort
  3. to add to (something insufficient), esp with effortto eke out an income with evening work

eke1

verb
  1. (tr) archaic to increase, enlarge, or lengthen

Word Origin

Old English eacan; related to Old Norse auka to increase, Latin augēre to increase

eke2

sentence connector
  1. archaic also; moreover

Word Origin

Old English eac; related to Old Norse, Gothic auk also, Old High German ouh, Latin autem but, aut or
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for eke out

eke

adv.

"also" (obsolete), from Old English eac, cognate with Old Saxon, Old Dutch ok, Old Norse and Gothic auk, Old Frisian ak, Old High German ouh, German auch "also;" probably related to eke (v.).

eke

v.

c.1200, eken "to increase, lengthen," north England and E. Midlands variant of echen from Old English ecan, eacan, eacian "to increase," probably from eaca "an increase," from Proto-Germanic *aukan (cf. Old Norse auka, Old Frisian aka, Old High German ouhhon, Gothic aukan), from PIE *aug- "to increase" (see augment).

Now mainly in phrase to eke out (1590s). It means "to make something go further or last longer;" you can eke out your income by taking a second job, but you can't eke out your existence. Related: Eked; eking.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with eke out

eke out

1

Supplement, make last, as in The survivors eked out their food and water until they were rescued. [Late 1500s]

2

Get with great difficulty or effort, as in The soil was terrible but they managed to eke out a living by rotating crops. [Early 1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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