\ ˈēk How to pronounce eke (audio) \

Definition of eke

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: also


eked; eking

Definition of eke (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 archaic : increase, lengthen
2 : to get with great difficulty usually used with out eke out a living

Examples of eke in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The flat-six produces 565 hp, and is said to deliver a more usable rev band, which should help less seasoned drivers eke more out of the powerband. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 1 Aug. 2022 Woe to the fools sent to eke a victory out of this. Dennard Dayle, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 Those early pioneers figured out how to harness water to eke a living out of the inhospitable, arid West. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 Apr. 2022 Restaurants operate with razor-thin profit margins in normal times, so they’re built to eke their way into the black, not reinvent themselves wholesale. Saahil Desai, The Atlantic, 2 Mar. 2022 And yet amid the obvious standstill, a coterie of lawmakers including Greene continues to eke political mileage out of seeming perpetually on the verge of making Silicon Valley pay. Brian Fung, CNN, 6 Jan. 2022 Just as optimism began to eke its way into the minds of corporate leaders, a wave of uncertainty reared its ugly head. Brian Peccarelli, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 So Gilmer looks for ways to eke more power out of the lines where congestion is a big problem. Gregory Barber, Wired, 8 Dec. 2021 To get to the Final Four in the first of back-to-back seasons, the Badgers had to eke past top-seeded Arizona in the Elite Eight, with a 64-63 thriller in overtime. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Nov. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eke.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of eke


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eke


Middle English, from Old English ēac; akin to Old High German ouh also, Latin aut or, Greek au again


Middle English, from Old English īecan, ēcan; akin to Old High German ouhhōn to add, Latin augēre to increase, Greek auxein

Learn More About eke

Time Traveler for eke

Time Traveler

The first known use of eke was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near eke




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for eke

Cite this Entry

“Eke.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eke. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on eke

Nglish: Translation of eke for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!