eke out


verb (tr, adverb)

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

QUIZZES

DISCOVER THE INFLUENCE OF PORTUGUESE ON ENGLISH VIA THIS QUIZ!

We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?
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

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.