: having or providing nothing to spare beyond basic necessities
a hand-to-mouth existence
hand to mouth adverb
Recent Examples on the Web The pair started their own hand-to-mouth theater company, barely scraping by. —Mark Rozzo, Town & Country, 2 Apr. 2023 She’s also visited by her boyfriend Ethan (Charlie Plummer), a cancer survivor who like a lot of the kids in their ritzy private school has a hard time understanding what Bea’s more marginalized, hand-to-mouth childhood has been like. —Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2023 Both dropped out of college and essentially lived hand-to-mouth in order to pursue their musical dreams. —Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Mar. 2023
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hand-to-mouth.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
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