An example of eke is to dig in a crowded refrigerator to find something that will due for dinner.
transitive verbeked, ek′ing
Origin of ekeMiddle English eken, to increase from Old English eacan and eacian: see wax
- to add to so as to make sufficient; supplement: to eke out an income with a second job
- to manage to make (a living) with difficulty
- to use (a supply) frugally
Origin of ekeMiddle English from Old English eac, akin to German auch from Indo-European base an unverified form au-, again, on the other hand from source Classical Latin aut, Classical Greek au, on the other hand
transitive verbeked, ek·ing, ekes
- To supplement with great effort. Used with out : eked out an income by working two jobs.
- To get with great effort or strain. Used with out : eke out a bare existence from farming in an arid area.
- To make (a supply) last by practicing strict economy. Used with out.
Origin of ekeMiddle English eken to increase from Old English ēcan ; see aug- in Indo-European roots.
Origin of ekeMiddle English from Old English ēac, ēc
(third-person singular simple present ekes, present participle eking, simple past and past participle eked)
- 2012 July 11, Ben Perry, “Branson's spaceship steals the spotlight at airshow”, Yahoo News, accessed on 2012-07-12:
- British tycoon Richard Branson stole the show here Wednesday, announcing that he and his family would be on Virgin Galactic's first trip into space, as Airbus and Boeing eked out more plane orders.
- (obsolete) An addition.
From Middle English eken (“to increase”), from Old English īecan (“to increase”), from West Germanic aukjana, from Proto-Germanic *aukaną (“increase”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ewg- (“to increase”). Akin to Danish øge, Icelandic auka, Swedish öka and Latin augeō, Old English ēac (“also”).
- (beekeeping, archaic) A very small addition to the bottom of a beehive, often merely of a few bands of straw, on which the hive is raised temporarily.
From Middle English eke, eake (“an addition”), from Old English ēaca (“an addition”). Akin to Old Norse auki (“an addition”).
- 1782, The Diverting History of John Gilpin, by William Cowper
- 'John Gilpin was a citizen / of credit and renown / A train-band captain eke was he / of famous London town.'