be running on empty

(redirected from were running on empty)

be running on empty

To continue to operate with no or very little enthusiasm, energy, or resources left. I've been painting the house for four hours every night after work, and I am seriously running on empty at this point. We were running on empty by the time our team made it to the championship round.
See also: empty, on, running

be running on empty

  (informal)
1. to continue to work and be active when you have no energy left I get the impression he's been running on empty for months now. A holiday will do him good.
2. (American & Australian) if a person or an organization is running on empty, they have no new ideas or are not as effective as they were before The fund-raising campaign was running on empty after ten years under the same leader.
See also: empty, on, running