verb (used with object), eked, ek·ing.
- to make (a living) or support (existence) laboriously: They managed to eke out a living by farming a small piece of land.
- to supplement; add to; stretch: to eke out an income with odd jobs.
Origin of eke1
Origin of eke2
Examples from the Web for eke
Contemporary Examples of eke
The polls say Republicans will likely eke out a small majority in the Senate this Election Day.How This Election Could Go to January
October 24, 2014
They made the playoffs just four times and managed to eke out only one playoff series win.
Thanks to an unexpectedly strong showing in the West and the farm belt, Truman managed to eke out re-election.David's Bookclub: Strom Thurmond's America
April 16, 2013
Polls suggests he should be able to eke out a win of three points or so.Michael Tomasky Makes His Election 2012 Predictions
November 6, 2012
President Obama is likely to eke out a popular vote victory and a win the electoral college.Intrade: An Ohio Story
November 5, 2012
Historical Examples of eke
Faults of temper she may have had, and eke narrow prejudices on sundry points.In the Valley
Then shall he not go without a ducking and eke a drubbing himself!The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
Can you, from the brief minutes I have left, Eke out my reparation?Browning's England
Helen Archibald Clarke
How he contrived to eke out subsistence was difficult to conceive.Confessions Of Con Cregan
Charles James Lever
She had a small pension from the Government, and she worked at dressmaking to eke it out.Olive in Italy
Word Origin for eke
Word Origin for eke
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.
"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.).