To earn enough income to provide for basic needs: “The workers complained that on their present wages they could hardly make ends meet, let alone enjoy any luxuries.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
How to use make ends meet in a sentence
During what she describes as a “low point,” Banks worked at a strip club in Queens to make ends meet.Azealia Banks Opens Up About Her Journey from Stripping to Rap Stardom | Marlow Stern | November 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Both the general public and economic elites have a lot of sympathy for janitors who are trying to make ends meet.Why Progressives Shouldn’t Support Public Workers Unions | Dmitri Mehlhorn | July 11, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Budgets are out of control because government executives lack flexibility to shave here and there to make ends meet.
And customers at the lower end of the income skill are struggling to make ends meet, which pinches their discretionary spending.Domino’s Fried-Chicken Pizza Means We’ve Hit Peak Food Trolling | Daniel Gross | April 16, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
To make ends meet, physicians have had to increase the number of patients they see.How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession | Daniela Drake | April 14, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It never succeeded in making ends meet financially, but it did make ends meet politically.The Canadian Dominion | Oscar D. Skelton
He had never returned, and ever since the Widow Geiser had been hard put to make ends meet.Rescue Dog of the High Pass | James Arthur Kjelgaard
Father was getting on, but they were poor and had a hard time to make ends meet.The Second Latchkey | Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson
It's by no means certain that I shall make ends meet this year.'New Grub Street | George Gissing
Being poor, both parents and children had to work hard and use strict economy to make ends meet.Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel | Frank G. Allen
Other Idioms and Phrases with make ends meet
Manage so that one's financial means are enough for one's needs, as in On that salary Enid had trouble making ends meet. This expression originated as make both ends meet, a translation from the French joindre les deux bouts (by John Clarke, 1639). The ends, it is assumed, allude to the sum total of income and expenditures. However, naval surgeon and novelist Tobias Smollett had it as “make the two ends of the year meet” (Roderick Random, 1748), thought to go back to the common practice of splicing rope ends together in order to cut shipboard expenses.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.