- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: ēk, IPA(key): /iːk/
Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ik/
- Rhymes: -iːk
- Homophone: eek
The noun is derived from Middle English eke, eche (“addition, increase; enhancement; additional piece of land”), from Old English ēaca (“addition, increase; supplement”), from Proto-Germanic *aukô (“addition, increase”), from *aukaną (“to grow, increase”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ewg- (“to enlarge, increase”). The English noun is cognate with Old Frisian āka (“addition, increase; bonus”), Old Norse auki (“growth, increase, proliferation”).
- from the noun; and
- from Middle English eken (“to increase; to enlarge, expand, extend; to lengthen; to add to, amplify; to improve; to stimulate; to advance; to exalt; to intensify; to aggravate, make worse; to prosper, succeed”) [and other forms], from three distinct verbs (1) Old English ēcan, īcan, īeċan, ȳcan (“(West Saxon) to increase; to accomplish”), (2) ēacan (“to be enlarged or increased”), and (3) ēacian, all from Proto-Germanic *aukaną (“to grow, increase”); see further above.
The English verb is cognate with Latin augeō (“to augment, increase; to enlarge, expand, spread; to lengthen; to exaggerate; to enrich; to honour; (figuratively) to exalt, praise”), Old English ēac (“also”), Old Norse auka (“to augment, increase; to add; to exceed, surpass”) (Danish øge (“to enhance; to increase”), Icelandic auka (“to augment, increase”), Norwegian Bokmål øke (“to increase”), Norwegian Nynorsk auka (“to increase”), Swedish öka (“to increase”)).
eke (plural ekes)
- (obsolete except Britain, dialectal) An addition.
- 1786, Alexander Geddes, Prospectus of a New Translation of the Holy Bible from Corrected Texts of the Originals, Compared with the Ancient Versions. […], Glasgow: Printed for the author, and sold by R[obert] Faulder, […]; C. Eliot, […]; and —— Cross, […], OCLC 11355535, page 95:
- [T]hey [the Catholics and Puritans] encumbered their verſion [of the Bible] with a load of uſeleſs Italics; often without the leaſt neceſſity, and almoſt always to the detriment of the text. In fact, either the words in Italics are virtually implied in the Hebrew, or they are not. In the former caſe they are a real part of the text, and ſhould be printed in the ſame character: in the latter, they are generally ill aſſorted and clumſy ekes, that may well be ſpared; and which often disfigure the narration under pretence of connecting it.
- (beekeeping, archaic) A small stand on which a beehive is placed.
- 1850, Henry Taylor, “Swarming (or Single Hiving) and Depriving Systems”, in The Bee-keepers Manual, or Practical Hints on the Management and Complete Preservation of the Honey-bee; […], 6th edition, London: Groombridge and Sons, […], OCLC 6127130, pages 24–25:
- Various have been the contrivances for effecting the separation of storage and breeding departments in a hive. [...] An empty box or hive, pushed beneath a full one, is denominated a Nadir,—a mode of practice not always advisable except in the case of swarms of the same year, or towards the latter end of very abundant seasons. A still smaller addition to a common hive consists of merely a few bands of straw, on which it is raised temporarily, and this constitutes an eke. [...] The entrance to the stock-hive must be stopped, and one made at the bottom of the eke or nadir.
- (beekeeping) A spacer put between or over or under hive parts to make more space: see 
- ekeing (noun)
- (transitive) Chiefly in the form eke out: to add to, to augment; to increase; to lengthen.
- 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. […], London: […] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book I, canto V, stanza 42, page 72:
- Is not enough, that thruſt from heauen dew / Here endleſſe penaunce for one fault I pay, / But that redoubled crime with vengeaunce new / Thou biddeſt me to eeke?
- 1694 October 8, John Houghton, compiler, “A Letter from a Lancashire Friend about Breeding Cattle. […]”, in Richard Bradley, editor, Husbandry and Trade Improv’d: Being a Collection of Many Valuable Materials Relating to Corn, Cattle, Coals, Hops, Wool, &c. […] In Three Volumes, volume I, number CXIII, London: Prin[t]ed for Woo[d]man and Lyon […], published 1727, OCLC 911709521, page 303:
- Now the reaſons why they teach the calves to drink ſo ſoon are various. [...] Secondly, the goodwife ſaves milk by this way of drinking, for ſhe quickly ekes out the milk with pottage, &c.
- a. 1751, Aaron Hill, “Free Thoughts upon Faith: Or, The Religion of Reason”, in The Poetical Works of Aaron Hill, Esq. […], Edinburgh: Printed by Mundell and Son, […], published 1794, OCLC 45787369; republished in Robert Anderson, editor, The Works of the British Poets. […], volume VIII, London: Printed for John & Arthur Arch; and for Bell & Bradfute, and J. Mundell & Co. […], 1795, OCLC 221535929, page 729, column 2:
- Pity the hag-ridd'n quiv'rer who contracts / To ſuperſtition's gloom religion's joy, / And humbles adoration into dread. / Who ekeing his inch'd meaſure from within, / Peeps through his narrow ſoul's dim loop-hole wink, / And inſolently by his own ſcale takes / The altitude of heaven.
- 1768, J[ohn] Ray, A Complete Collection of English Proverbs; also, the Most Celebrated Proverbs of the Scotch, Italian, French, Spanish, and Other Languages. […] Reproduced Verbatim from the Edition of 1768., London: Printed for T. and J. Allman, […]; T. Boone, […]; and Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, […], published 1817, OCLC 230662336, page 71:
- All ekes [or helps] as the geni-wren said, when she piss'd in the sea. / Many littles make a mickle, the whole ocean is made up of drops.
- 1805 July, “Art. XIV. History of Great Britain. By William Belsham. Vol. XI. and XII. London, 1805. 8vo. [book review]”, in The Edinburgh Review, or Critical Journal, volume VI, number XII, Edinburgh: Printed by D. Willison, […], for Archibald Constable & Co. […], and Longman Hurst Rees and Orme, […], OCLC 950902861, page 428:
- [T]he author [William Belsham] ekes out his volume with a great many extraneous details, which relate to a ſubſequent period; [...] The whole work is ſingularly confuſed and deſultory: and, indeed, the plan which the author adopts, is altogether incompatible with that unity and coherence which is eſſential to hiſtory.
- 1811 June, “For the Anthology. Remarks on English Translations of the Roman Poets. No. 15. Juvenal.”, in The Monthly Anthology, and Boston Review. […], volume X, Boston, Mass.: Printed and published by T[homas] B. Wait and Co. […], OCLC 994384291, page 384:
- It must be acknowledged, that Mr. [William] Gifford's versification is sometimes unharmonious, and even harsh; that, like almost every other translator, he too often has recourse to eking words in order to complete his measure, and that his rhymes are frequently imperfect and faulty.
- 1848, John Stuart Mill, “Continuation of the Same Subject [Of Peasant Proprietors]”, in Principles of Political Economy: With Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy. [...] In Two Volumes, volume I, London: John W[illiam] Parker, […], OCLC 948263597, book II (Distribution), § 4, page 338:
- A majority of the properties are so small as not to afford a subsistence to the proprietors, of whom, according to some computations, as many as three millions are obliged to eke out their means of support either by working for hire, or by taking additional land, generally on metayer tenure.
- 1865, Oswald Cockayne, compiler and editor, “Leech Book”, in Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England. Being a Collection of Documents, for the Most Part Never Before Printed, Illustrating the History of Science in this Country Before the Norman Conquest. […] (Rerum Britannicarum Medii Ævi Scriptores, or Chronicles and Memorials of Great Britain and Ireland during the Middle Ages; 35), London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green, OCLC 1145889173, book II, chapter xxxix, page 249:
- If however the distention from the wind cometh suddenly, then these things cannot help, since that will turn into dropsy. If one applieth the warming leechdoms to that, then one eketh or augmenteth the disease.
- 1934, Robert Graves, chapter I, in I, Claudius: […], New York, N.Y.: The Modern Library, OCLC 441429562, page 3:
- [I]t is indeed Claudius himself who is writing this book, and no mere secretary of his, and not one of those official annalists, either, to whom public men are in the habit of communicating their recollections, in the hope that elegant writing will eke out meagreness of subject-matter and flattery soften vices.
- 2011, Kamin Mohammadi, “Displaced”, in The Cypress Tree: A Love Letter to Iran, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, →ISBN; paperback edition, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012, →ISBN, page 197:
- But before too long, the rations that Parivash was ekeing out to feed them fell short and the tension that sprang from so many families piled in together overflowed.
- 2012, Stewart M. Green, “Introduction”, in Amy Lyons, editor, New England (Scenic Routes & Byways), Guilford, Conn.: Morris Book Publishing, →ISBN, page 1:
- It [New England] is also a place of history, a place that defines what it means to be American. Here grew the men and women who founded this country. [...] sailors, whalers, and lobstermen eking a hard-won living from the ocean.
- 2012 July 12, Ben Perry, “Branson’s spaceship steals the spotlight at airshow”, in Yahoo! News, archived from the original on 26 April 2020:
- British tycoon Richard Branson stole the show here Wednesday, announcing that he and his family would be on Virgin Galactic's first trip into space, as Airbus and Boeing eked out more plane orders.
- 2013, Thomas Keneally, chapter 2, in Shame and the Captives (A Knopf Book), North Sydney, N.S.W.: Random House Australia, →ISBN; 1st trade paperback edition, New York, N.Y.: Washington Square Press, Simon & Schuster, December 2015, →ISBN, page 24:
- Very nearly as a cure for the man's innocence Tengan fired his cannons on him, and as the pilot, doomed and honorable, eked his plane a few metres into the air, both he and it were consumed by a frightful orb of fire.
- from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ewg- (“to enlarge, increase”); or
- from Pre-Germanic *h₂ew (“away from, off; again”) + *g(ʰ)e (postpositional intensifying particle meaning ‘at any rate, indeed, in fact’)
The English word is cognate with Gothic 𐌰𐌿𐌺 (auk, “also; for, because; but also”), Old Frisian âk, Old High German ouh (“also, as well, too”) (Middle High German ouch, modern German auch (“also, as well, too”)), Old Norse auk (“also; and”) (Danish og (“and”), Swedish och (“and”), ock (“(dated) also, as well as, too”)), Old Saxon ôk (Dutch ook (“also, too; moreover; either”)), Saterland Frisian ook, uk (“also, too”), West Frisian ek (“also, too”).
eke (not comparable)
- (archaic) Also; in addition to.
- a. 1548, Henry Haward, late Earle of Surrey [i.e., Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey], “Description of Spring, wherin Eche Thing Renewes, Saue Onely the Louer”, in Songes and Sonettes, […], [London]: Apud Richardum Tottel [i.e., Richard Tottel], published 1557, OCLC 216598387:
- The ſoote [i.e., sweet] ſeaſon, that bud and blome forth brings, / With grene hath clad the hill, and eke the vale: [...]
- 1662, [Samuel Butler], “[The First Part of Hudibras]”, in Hudibras. The First and Second Parts. […], London: […] John Martyn and Henry Herringman, […], published 1678, OCLC 890163163; republished in A[lfred] R[ayney] Waller, editor, Hudibras: Written in the Time of the Late Wars, Cambridge: At the University Press, 1905, OCLC 963614346, canto I, page 12:
- 'Tis false: for Arthur wore in Hall / Round Table like a Farthingal, / On which, with Shirt pull'd out behind, / And eke before his good Knights dined.
- ^ “ēke, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ Compare “† eke, n.1”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1891.
- ^ “eke, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1891; “eke1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ “ēken, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- ^ “ēk, adv. and conj.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
- Compare “eke, adv.”, in OED Online , Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1891.
- ^ “eke2, adv.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
eke (plural ekék)
|Inflection (stem in long/high vowel, front unrounded harmony)|
possessive - singular
possessive - plural
|Possessive forms of eke|
|possessor||single possession||multiple possessions|
|1st person sing.||ekém||ekéim|
|2nd person sing.||ekéd||ekéid|
|3rd person sing.||ekéje||ekéi|
|1st person plural||ekénk||ekéink|
|2nd person plural||ekétek||ekéitek|
|3rd person plural||ekéjük||ekéik|
- ^ Zaicz, Gábor. Etimológiai szótár: Magyar szavak és toldalékok eredete (’Dictionary of Etymology: The origin of Hungarian words and affixes’). Budapest: Tinta Könyvkiadó, 2006, →ISBN
- (colloquial, dated) I: The speaker or writer, referred to as the grammatical subject, of a sentence.
- to embark
From Old Swedish, from ek (“oak”).
|Declension of eke|