keep the wolf from the door


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Related to keep the wolf from the door: play to the gallery

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
It all represents a fair return on the share-holders' investment - I think you'll agree - and it's more than enough to keep the wolf from the door.
Across Russia, an astonishing 80,000 women have turned to Avon not only to look their best but also to keep the wolf from the door. Surgeons, economists, students and housewives...
Nothing could demonstrate more how out of touch Tory MPs have become - PS66,000 a year is not enough to keep the wolf from the door.
On a less fishy tip, the pounds 18.95 grilled sirloin steak with goose fat potatoes should easily keep the wolf from the door.
Shotton, who skippered Oxford to a 3-0 Milk Cup Final victory over QPR in 1986, has sold keeper Phil Whitehead and defender Simon Marsh for pounds 250,000 apiece to keep the wolf from the door.
It may keep the wolf from the door but life is also about enjoyment.
I still believe the Black Cats will stay up, but they are still too reliant on one man's goals to keep the wolf from the door.
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.
It's not too long ago that some of them had to throw themselves on the mercy of kind-hearted developers to keep the wolf from the door.
Marie Antoinette may or may not have said "let them eat cake", but there's no doubt that French royalty, and their hangerson, had been stuffing themselves with gateaux in their chateaux for centuries while les paysans were digging up garlic to keep the wolf from the door.
Dishes like steak and Guinness pie, macaroni cheese and sticky toffee pudding will keep the wolf from the door.
What gave him the right to deny these tickets to loyal Scottish fans just to keep the wolf from the door when a large part of Hampden was built with tax-payers' money?
Tabor, who admitted to have his 'betting boots' on, said: 'That will keep the wolf from the door.'
In most cases, each constituency had to find only a miserly pounds 800 to help keep the wolf from the door.
When the series finished Smith and Jones - minor stars in the show - set up Talkback to keep the wolf from the door.