eke out

eke out

  1. (transitive) To supplement.
    The old man eked out his pension by selling vegetables from his garden.
    • 1848, John Stuart Mill, “Continuation of the Same Subject [Of Peasant Proprietors]”, in Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. [...] In Two Volumes, volume I, London: John W[illiam] Parker, […], OCLC 948263597 ↗, book II (Distribution), § 4, page 338 ↗:
      A majority of the properties are so small as not to afford a subsistence to the proprietors, of whom, according to some computations, as many as three millions are obliged to eke out their means of support either by working for hire, or by taking additional land, generally on metayer tenure.
    • 1934, Robert Graves, chapter I, in I, Claudius: […], New York, N.Y.: The Modern Library, OCLC 441429562 ↗, page 3 ↗:
      [I]t is indeed Claudius himself who is writing this book, and no mere secretary of his, and not one of those official annalists, either, to whom public men are in the habit of communicating their recollections, in the hope that elegant writing will eke out meagreness of subject-matter and flattery soften vices.
  2. (transitive) To obtain with difficulty or effort.
    He eked out a living selling vegetables from the garden.
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