feast-or-famine

[ feest-er-fam-in ]
/ ˈfist ərˈfæm ɪn /

adjective

characterized by alternating, extremely high and low degrees of prosperity, success, volume of business, etc.: artists who lead a feast-or-famine life.

QUIZZES

This Word Of The Day Quiz Is Far From Thersitical
Have you mastered the meaning of phronesis? How about plethoric? Take the quiz on the words from the week of February 17 to 23 to find out.
Question 1 of 7
Lincolnesque
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Idioms and Phrases with feast or famine

feast or famine

Also, either feast or famine. Either too much or too little, too many or too few. For example, Free-lancers generally find it's feast or famine—too many assignments or too few, or Yesterday two hundred showed up at the fair, today two dozen—it's either feast or famine. This expression, which transfers an overabundance or shortage of food to numerous other undertakings, was first recorded in 1732 as feast or fast, the noun famine being substituted in the early 1900s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.