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make ends meet

  1. (idiomatic) To have enough money to cover expenses; to get by financially; to get through the pay period (sufficient to meet the next payday).
    • 1661, Thomas Fuller, The History of the Worthies of England:
      (entry on Archbishop Edmund Grindall) Worldly wealth he cared not for, desiring only to make both ends meet; and as for that little that lapped over he gave it to pious uses.
    • 1748, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random in The Miscellaneous works of Tobias Smollett, p. 18:
      ... a schoolmaster, whose income being small, he was fain to keep a glass of good liquor for the entertainment of passengers, by which he made shift to make the two ends of the year meet.
    • 1996, Chris Peters, Sudan: A Nation in the Balance, p. 42:
      Although most of the poor and displaced in Khartoum struggle to make ends meet, a very small number not only find work, but form small co-operatives.
    • 2007, Peter Geoffrey Hall, London Voices, London Lives, p. 269:
      Very many Londoners reported to us that they were struggling to make ends meet; that it was a constant battle to keep their heads above water, or that they had only just got into the position of being able to breathe freely.
    • 2009 Feb. 27, "Avarice and Audacity," The Guardian (UK):
      Barclays, which until now has made ends meet with costly loans from the Middle East rather than take public money, may soon join the queue for the emergency medicine too.



  • “"Making ends meet: Etymology of phrase"”, in (Please provide the title of the work)[1], (Please provide a date or year)