running on empty


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running on empty

lacking energy or enthusiasm He's been running on empty for months now - a vacation will do him good. The program to build low-cost housing has not attracted much support and is running on empty.
Related vocabulary: on automatic pilot
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of running on empty (operating a car with almost no fuel)
See also: empty, on, running

running on empty

At the end of one's resources, out of money, as in I don't know how much longer we can live this way-we're running on empty with no jobs in sight . This idiom refers to a car running when the gas gauge indicates it is out of fuel. [Second half of 1900s]
See also: empty, on, running