providing only bare essentials

a hand-to-mouth existence

Similar to: ↑meager, ↑meagre, ↑meagerly, ↑stingy, ↑scrimpy

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\\| ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷| ̷ ̷\ adjective
: having or providing nothing to spare or having or providing barely enough especially of money or the necessities of existence : precarious

leading a hand-to-mouth existence

found employment in shoveling sidewalks, sawing wood, and other hand-to-mouth jobs — Dixon Wecter

steel users … report that they are operating on a hand-to-mouth basis with less than a week's supply — Newsweek

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/hand"teuh mowth"/, adj.
offering or providing the barest livelihood, sustenance, or support; meager; precarious: a hand-to-mouth existence.

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hand-to-mouth UK US adjective, adverb
with just enough money or food to live on

a hand-to-mouth existence

Thesaurus: poorsynonym

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hand-to-mouth «HAND tuh MOWTH», adjective.
not providing for the future; having nothing to spare; not thrifty: »

a hand-to-mouth existence.

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/ˈhændtəˈmaʊθ/ adj
: having only enough money to survive

After the factories closed, many people lived a hand-to-mouth existence. [=many people were poor]

— see also hand to mouth at hand, 1

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ˌhand-to-ˈmouth f25 [hand-to-mouth] adjective usually before noun
if you have a hand-to-mouth life, you spend all the money you earn on basic needs such as food and do not have anything left
see live (from) hand to mouth at live 1

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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