eke out




To eke out is to get by with difficulty or a struggle. When you just eke out a living, you live from check to check, barely managing to pay all your bills.

You’ll often find eke out followed by “a living,” or “an existence,” describing the process of working hard for every bit of money. You can also use it to mean “squeeze out,” or “win after a struggle,” the way an underdog baseball team just barely ekes out a win over its rival. And finally, you can make something last longer, or eke it out: “She’ll eke out that chili for a whole week, I bet.”

Definitions of eke out
  1. verb

    live from day to day, as with some hardship

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    type of:

    live

    lead a certain kind of life; live in a certain style

  2. verb

    supplement what is thought to be deficient

    synonyms:
    fill out
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    type of:

    supplement

    add as a supplement to what seems insufficient

  3. verb

    make by laborious and precarious means

    synonyms:
    squeeze out
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    type of:

    bring in, clear, earn, gain, make, pull in, realise, realize, take in

    earn on some commercial or business transaction; earn as salary or wages

  4. verb

    obtain with difficulty

    synonyms:
    squeeze out
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    type of:

    obtain

    come into possession of

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