keep the wolf from the door, to

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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

keep the wolf from the door, to

To ward off starvation or insolvency. This term, based on the lupine characteristic of ravenousness, dates from the sixteenth century and was already included in John Heywood’s Proverbs (1546). A cliché by about 1800, it is heard less often today.
See also: keep, wolf
References in periodicals archive ?
The measures outlined could help to keep the wolf from the door.
Meanwhile, Ray tries to keep the wolf from the door after Angela announces that she's selling the flat.
Furthermore, if famine really was looming in this country, the 3.6 million tonnes thrown away each year in England and Wales - 60% of it untouched - would help to keep the wolf from the door for awhile.
Lord Newborough added: "With the pressure on farming we have to look at other opportunities to keep the wolf from the door.
City break, ski trip or a bit of both, Serbia certainly deserves to attract more than enough visitors to keep the wolf from the door. Rob Freeman flew with JAT Airways from Heathrow to Belgrade (Tel: 020 7629 2007 www.yurope.com/jat).
In order to keep the wolf from the door she took a sales job which ended with her being head-hunted to launch a sales division within a local transport company, and then managing the company itself.
To keep the wolf from the door while working painstakingly on his exquisite Vulgate, Gutenberg printed hack Catholic indulgences by the thousand.
WE'RE all trying to keep the wolf from the door but this week he was in the hall at the Dublin's RDS.
Her barrister, Christopher Tehrani, said she started taking money from the firm "to keep the wolf from the door", but he said the offences spiralled out of control.
More importantly pounds 10m Rangers DON'T get to keep the wolf from the door.
All the strength you had and more, To keep the wolf from the door.
AS the recession begins to bite, it is understandable that everyone is cutting back in order to keep the wolf from the door.
Okay, so it will only be scratching the surface but it may just be enough to keep the wolf from the door and give the club a bit of breathing space while they continue their search for someone willing to invest and save them from going under.
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.
how is the Beeb's chat show host going to keep the wolf from the door with his new pounds 18million contract?