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
Examples from the Web for eked
Contemporary Examples of eked
Likeable Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner eked out a major win Tuesday night.A GOP Star Rises in Colorado, Beats Udall
November 5, 2014
Boring as it may seem, be glad that Cochran eked out his win.Thad Cochran Wins One for Sanity Over Tea Partier Chris McDaniel
June 25, 2014
In 2009, Christie eked out a slight win against incumbent governor Jon Corzine and still garnered 32 percent of the Hispanic vote.How Chris Christie is Winning Over Hispanics
November 3, 2013
He 2010, he drew five challengers, and eked out slightly more than 50 percent of the vote.Charlie Rangel on Immigration, Pope Francis & His Successor
August 2, 2013
It reported a net loss for 2012, though it eked out a slim $4.9 million profit in the fourth quarter.American Apparel’s Dov Charney on the Bangladesh Tragedy
May 8, 2013
Historical Examples of eked
With a languid movement she eked out the thought that was in her.
She helped her to find a room, and eked out the furniture from her own little store.Olive in Italy
It is a chronicle or procession, eked out with soldiers' squabbles.William Shakespeare
There I eked out an existence, a stranger on a foreign shore.Saronia
In this case private subscriptions were eked out by public aid.Benjamin Franklin
John Torrey Morse, Jr.
Word Origin for eke
Word Origin for eke
"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.).
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.