eke out

To eke out is to get by with difficulty or a struggle. When you just eke out a living, you live from check to check, barely managing to pay all your bills.

You'll often find eke out followed by "a living," or "an existence," describing the process of working hard for every bit of money. You can also use it to mean "squeeze out," or "win after a struggle," the way an underdog baseball team just barely ekes out a win over its rival. And finally, you can make something last longer, or eke it out: "She'll eke out that chili for a whole week, I bet."

Definitions of eke out
  1. verb
    live from day to day, as with some hardship
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    type of:
    live
    lead a certain kind of life; live in a certain style
  2. verb
    supplement what is thought to be deficient
    synonyms: fill out
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    type of:
    supplement
    add as a supplement to what seems insufficient
  3. verb
    make by laborious and precarious means
    synonyms: squeeze out
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    type of:
    bring in, clear, earn, gain, make, pull in, realise, realize, take in
    earn on some commercial or business transaction; earn as salary or wages
  4. verb
    obtain with difficulty
    synonyms: squeeze out
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    type of:
    obtain
    come into possession of
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