keep the wolf from the door


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.
Related to keep the wolf from the door: play to the gallery

keep the wolf from the door

To do, acquire, or provide something that will allow one or something to narrowly avoid death, ruin, etc. We were extremely poor then, and begging for scraps was all I could do to keep the wolf from the door. This loan will keep the wolf from the door, at least, but I'm worried it won't last long.
See also: door, keep, wolf

keep the wolf from the door

Fig. to maintain oneself at a minimal level; to keep from starving, freezing, etc. I don't make a lot of money, just enough to keep the wolf from the door. We have a small amount of money saved, hardly enough to keep the wolf from the door.
See also: door, keep, wolf

keep the wolf from the door

Ward off starvation or financial ruin. For example, In many countries people are working simply to keep the wolf from the door, and owning a car or washing machine is just a dream , or Gail would take any job now, just to keep the wolf from the door. This term alludes to the wolf's fabled ravenousness. [Mid-1500s]
See also: door, keep, wolf

keep the wolf from the door

Something which keeps the wolf from the door provides you with enough money to live on. He was doing two jobs just to keep the wolf from the door. Government pension provisions will keep the wolf from the door but they will not provide you with a comfortable old age. Note: For many centuries in the past, wolves were symbols of hunger.
See also: door, keep, wolf

keep the wolf from the door

have enough money to avert hunger or starvation.
The phrase has been used in this sense since the mid 16th century, but the image of the wolf as a symbol of a devouring and destructive force is found much earlier than this. In Matthew 10:16, for example, Jesus tells his disciples: ‘Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves’.
See also: door, keep, wolf

keep the ˈwolf from the door

(informal) make sure that you have enough money to pay for the basic things like food, rent, heating, etc: Their wages are just enough to keep the wolf from the door.
See also: door, keep, wolf

keep the wolf from the door

To avoid the privation and suffering resulting from a lack of money: Both spouses had to work in order to keep the wolf from the door.
See also: door, keep, wolf
References in periodicals archive ?
As someone who endeavours to keep the wolf from the door by way of my daily skirmishes with both bookmakers and the exchanges, I was somewhat perturbed to find myself banded in the company of train-spotters and model-
It all represents a fair return on the share-holders' investment - I think you'll agree - and it's more than enough to keep the wolf from the door.
It's not too long ago that some of them had to throw themselves on the mercy of kind-hearted developers to keep the wolf from the door.
Murray has already banked pounds 37,803 in prize money from his success in New York so far and should he win again today he will collect another pounds 35,700 - which ought to keep the wolf from the door for a few weeks.
I am, just, managing to keep the wolf from the door by training horses, but we do operate the RaceRiders Cafe, adjacent to the yard.
It may keep the wolf from the door but life is also about enjoyment.
What gave him the right to deny these tickets to loyal Scottish fans just to keep the wolf from the door when a large part of Hampden was built with tax-payers' money?
Shotton, who skippered Oxford to a 3-0 Milk Cup Final victory over QPR in 1986, has sold keeper Phil Whitehead and defender Simon Marsh for pounds 250,000 apiece to keep the wolf from the door.
In most cases, each constituency had to find only a miserly pounds 800 to help keep the wolf from the door.
Dishes like steak and Guinness pie, macaroni cheese and sticky toffee pudding will keep the wolf from the door.
The cleric reckons an extra little bit would help the Church out no end and keep the wolf from the door.
Tabor, who admitted to have his 'betting boots' on, said: 'That will keep the wolf from the door.
I've got enough to keep the wolf from the door and I was able to retire early, which was very nice," John says.
When the series finished Smith and Jones - minor stars in the show - set up Talkback to keep the wolf from the door.
But he should be able to keep the wolf from the door of his pounds 300,000 home in Loughton, Essex.