lean times(redirected from cause lean times)
A period of time in which money is not plentiful or one is not successful. Judging from our earnings forecast for the next quarter, we're heading into some lean times. Those were lean times after my father lost his job.
*lean times (ahead)
Fig. a future period of lowered income or revenue; a future period when there will be shortages of goods and suffering. (*Typically: be ~; cause ~; have ~; mean ~.) The economy is going sour which means lean times ahead.