Eke Definition

eked, ekes, eking
To make larger or longer; increase.
Webster's New World
To supplement with great effort. Used with out .
Eked out an income by working two jobs.
American Heritage
To get with great effort or strain. Used with out .
Eke out a bare existence from farming in an arid area.
American Heritage
To make (a supply) last by practicing strict economy. Used with out.
American Heritage
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.
Webster's New World
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.'

(obsolete) An addition.


(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.

eke out
  • 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
Webster's New World

Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Eke

Origin of Eke

  • 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”).

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English eek (“also”), from Old English ēac, ēc (“also”), from Proto-Germanic *auk. Akin to West Frisian ek, Dutch ook (“also”), German auch (“also”), Swedish ock (“also”).

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English eke, eake (“an addition”), from Old English ēaca (“an addition”). Akin to Old Norse auki (“an addition”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English eken to increase from Old English ēcan aug- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English from Old English ēac, ēc

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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