[ feest-er-fam-in ]
/ ˈfist ərˈfæm ɪn /
Save This Word!
characterized by alternating, extremely high and low degrees of prosperity, success, volume of business, etc.: artists who lead a feast-or-famine life.
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use feast-or-famine in a sentence
However, much variation can be expected in an animal whose physiology must be adapted to a feast-or-famine existence.
Other 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.