eke out

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eke out

1. To use something sparingly in an attempt to preserve it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "eke" and "out." Until somebody finds us shipwrecked here, we’ll have to eke out all the supplies we have.
2. To obtain something through hard work or effort. A noun or pronoun can be used between "eke" and "out." In addition to my full-time job, I started doing some freelance work and can now eke out my rent payment.
3. To manage to do something successfully immediately before a deadline or in the last remaining amount of time. A noun or pronoun can be used between "eke" and "out." Thanks to two goals in the third period, we were able to eke out a win.
See also: out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

eke something out

to extend something; to add to something. He worked at two jobs in order to eke his income out. He managed to eke out a living.
See also: out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

eke out

1. Supplement, make last, as in The survivors eked out their food and water until they were rescued. [Late 1500s]
2. Get with great difficulty or effort, as in The soil was terrible but they managed to eke out a living by rotating crops. [Early 1800s]
See also: out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
State Auto Ekes Out Small Profit; Combined Ratio Reaches 107
Stretched between heaven and earth like an angel in penance it ekes out a living stalking about in the mud.
Twenty-year-old Josie Tyrell, who ran away at 17 from her poor, stultifying small-town roots, ends up in Los Angeles, where she ekes out an existence acting in student film projects and posing nude for art classes.
Yet she ekes out the maximum push and pull from her canny alliances of colors--a strangely warm blue next to a paradoxically cool pink, or similarly disorienting mixes of sour with sweet, hearty with delicate.