run on empty

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An allusion to a vehicle operating with the fuel gage pointing to empty or near empty, likely to stop running in the very near future.

Verb[edit]

run on empty (third-person singular simple present runs on empty, present participle running on empty, simple past ran on empty, past participle run on empty)

  1. (idiomatic) Losing enthusiasm or willingness, lacking energy.
    His interest in the program had been running on empty for a while. It's likely the program will be canceled

See also[edit]