run on fumes

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (automotive) To operate a vehicle that is low on fuel.
    We were running on fumes by the time we arrived, but we made it to the next gas station.
  2. (idiomatic) By extension, to operate with few resources or little money.
    The organization had been running on fumes for months, so it's not surprising that they closed their doors.

See also[edit]