[ eek ]
See synonyms for eke on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object),eked, ek·ing.
  1. to increase; enlarge; lengthen.

Verb Phrases
  1. eke out,

    • 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 eke

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

Other definitions for eke (2 of 2)

[ eek ]


Origin of eke

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. 2023

How to use eke in a sentence

  • Bats that had once lived deep in the forest were now eking out a living on mango trees and near pig farms.

    Bats’ Link to Ebola Finally Solved | Carrie Arnold | November 12, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • At the end of the close match, Canada found itself in the lead, eking out a 1-0 win.

  • Romney held his own most of the time, and polls by CBS and CNN showed the president eking out only a narrow victory.

    The GOP's Candy Strategy | Howard Kurtz | October 17, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • I must wander around in foreign parts, a private gentleman eking out my living by some kind of industry.

    Lazarre | Mary Hartwell Catherwood
  • He kept up his “Skee-eking” at intervals, apparently without noticing me, until within ten or twelve feet.

    Watched by Wild Animals | Enos A. Mills
  • They did what they could, eking out their scanty earnings by eel-fishing on the marshes, and occasionally snaring a few wild fowl.

    The Shrieking Pit | Arthur J. Rees
  • Tags like these are everywhere present, especially in verse, where they must often have proved convenient in eking out the metre.

  • The furniture in my bungalow is altogether too sketchy at present, and I am tired of eking it out with personality.

British Dictionary definitions for eke (1 of 2)


/ (iːk) /

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

Origin of eke

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

British Dictionary definitions for eke (2 of 2)


/ (iːk) /

sentence connector
  1. archaic also; moreover

Origin of eke

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