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eke1

[eek]
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verb (used with object), eked, ek·ing.
  1. to increase; enlarge; lengthen.
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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.
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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

eke2

[eek]
adverb Archaic.
  1. also.
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Origin of eke2

before 900; Middle English eek, Old English ēc, ēac; cognate with German auch, Old Norse, Gothic auk
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

augmenteconomizefillhusbandincreasemagnifystretchsupplement

Examples from the Web for eke

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Faults of temper she may have had, and eke narrow prejudices on sundry points.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • Then shall he not go without a ducking and eke a drubbing himself!

  • 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

    Moray Dalton


British Dictionary definitions for eke

eke1

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

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

eke2

sentence connector
  1. archaic also; moreover
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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

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.

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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.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper