hand to mouth

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Having or providing only the bare essentials: a hand-to-mouth existence.

hand to mouth adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.hand to mouth - with barely enough money for immediate needs; "they lived form hand to mouth"
References in classic literature ?
He knew besides that the Athelnys lived from hand to mouth, and with their large family had neither space nor money to entertain a stranger.
No one knows where his grip may fall, for he is far too rich and far too cunning to work from hand to mouth.
This represents a fundamental change as workers traditionally had little spare cash to spend but rather lived hand to mouth.
Chelsea and Manchester United are world class sides built on money and shrewd planning, while Newcastle live from hand to mouth.
I think it would be only fitting for the Baltic, to showcase his work, and remind Geordies just how far they have come from the days of grim survival and living from hand to mouth.
Nigel Brittle, of Combined Insurance, said: "Many people are simply living from hand to mouth.