eke 1 (ēk)
tr.v. eked, ek·ing, ekes
1. To supplement with great effort. Used with out: eked out an income by working two jobs.
2. To get with great effort or strain. Used with out: eke out a bare existence from farming in an arid area.
3. To make (a supply) last by practicing strict economy. Used with out.
[Middle English eken, to increase, from Old English ēcan; see aug- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.