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hand-to-mouth subsistence farming
  what is minimally needed to survive; or the condition of minimally surviving
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Strongly Associated with:   subsist
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  • hand-to-mouth subsistence farming
  • social security provided only a bare subsistence
  • PoorYoga Janet was a vegetarian and resigned herself to a subsistence diet most of the time.
    Piper Kerman  --  Orange Is the New Black
  • She was managing to survive slightly above the subsistence level, but only because she was lucky.
    William Styron  --  Sophie’s Choice

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  • Hester sought not to acquire anything beyond a subsistence, of the plainest and most ascetic description, for herself, and a simple abundance for her child.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The Scarlet Letter
  • We’re also trying to keep open the agricultural extension program, training former rubber workers to subsistence farming.
    Barbara Kingsolver  --  The Poisonwood Bible
  • After some consideration, he went into business as an Informer, in which calling he realises a genteel subsistence.
    Charles Dickens  --  Oliver Twist
  • Her father grew worse; her time was more entirely occupied in attending him; her means of subsistence decreased; and in the tenth month her father died in her arms, leaving her an orphan and a beggar.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
  • "Nearly half of the members of the metropolitan bar earned less than the minimum subsistence level for American families," Jerold Auerbach writes of the Depression years in New York.
    Malcolm Gladwell  --  Outliers
  • I lifted the kid over the pales, and would willingly have kept it alive; but finding it could not be brought to eat, I was forced to slay it also for my subsistence.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Robinson Crusoe

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  • You have never discovered the industrial age-and you cling to the morality of the barbarian eras when a miserable form of human subsistence was produced by the muscular labor of slaves.
    Ayn Rand  --  Atlas Shrugged
  • Marius sent back the thirty louis to his aunt, with a respectful letter, in which he stated that he had sufficient means of subsistence and that he should be able thenceforth to supply all his needs.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • The scout now told the sisters to dismount; and taking the bridles from the mouths, and the saddles off the backs of the jaded beasts, he turned them loose, to glean a scanty subsistence among the shrubs and meager herbage of that elevated region.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • Meanwhile, in the night, when everybody else was asleep, Cassy slowly and carefully accumulated there a stock of provisions sufficient to afford subsistence for some time; she transferred, article by article, a greater part of her own and Emmeline’s wardrobe.
    Harriet Beecher Stowe  --  Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • You will find yourself again without the means of subsistence, with no income to count upon.
    Henrik Ibsen  --  An Enemy of the People
  • I explained with tolerable firmness, that I really did not know where my means of subsistence were to come from, unless I could earn them for myself.
    Charles Dickens  --  David Copperfield
  • An important condition was the transition from a subsistence economy to a monetary economy.
    Jostein Gaarder  --  Sophie’s World
  • Who provides our means of subsistence?
    Gustave Flaubert  --  Madame Bovary
  • In the bazaar, Mortenson could see that the people of Baharak, who grew, rather than trafficked, opium, lived in a subsistence economy like the Balti.
    Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin  --  Three Cups of Tea
  • She had come out of her first illness alive with new hopes, expecting so much, yet deprived of any subsistence except Dick, bringing up children she could only pretend gently to love, guided orphans.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  Tender is the Night
  • Here she sat down and considered the means of subsistence.
    Thomas Hardy  --  The Mayor of Casterbridge
  • However well disposed a person may be, why you see we leave off after a time seeing persons who are in sorrow, they make one melancholy; and so at last old Dantes was left all to himself, and I only saw from time to time strangers go up to him and come down again with some bundle they tried to hide; but I guessed what these bundles were, and that he sold by degrees what he had to pay for his subsistence.
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • There was now no point in a war that might once have been justified as a search for free subsistence and living space — it had degenerated into vast, inhuman mass slaughter, negating all cultural values, and it can never be justified to the German people; it will be utterly condemned by the nation as a whole.
    Wladyslaw Szpilman  --  The Pianist
  • All oats, Indian corn, or other forage that waggons or horses bring to the camp, more than is necessary for the subsistence of the horses, is to be taken for the use of the army, and a reasonable price paid for the same.
    Benjamin Franklin  --  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
  • Paddling over it, you may see, many feet beneath the surface, the schools of perch and shiners, perhaps only an inch long, yet the former easily distinguished by their transverse bars, and you think that they must be ascetic fish that find a subsistence there.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • It was a poor subsistence that she had ensured, but it would afford a shelter for the winter at any rate.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • This mighty contrast thrust itself forward as a fair expression of the odds against which she was to begin her struggle for a subsistence.
    Nathaniel Hawthorne  --  The House of the Seven Gables
  • To provide for her otherwise was out of Colonel Campbell’s power; for though his income, by pay and appointments, was handsome, his fortune was moderate and must be all his daughter’s; but, by giving her an education, he hoped to be supplying the means of respectable subsistence hereafter.
    Jane Austen  --  Emma
  • What are his present means of subsistence?
    Henry James  --  Washington Square
  • Most of them only see the ungiving soil from which a man must wrestle his subsistence and the barriers that shut him out from the world.
    Katherine Paterson  --  Jacob Have I Loved
  • Living on the edge of subsistence nothing much could ever change him.
    Graham Greene  --  The Power and the Glory
  • Her mother-in-law had cut back on her food, allowing her only one-third of the rice required for subsistence.
    Lisa See  --  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  • The ruling class paid African labor a subsistence wage and then added value to the cost of the goods, which they retained for themselves.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • Because there is too much civilisation, too much means of subsistence, too much industry, too much commerce.
    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels  --  The Communist Manifesto
  • I wrote again in a more pressing manner than ever, and in one of them let him know, that I must be forced to wait on him myself, representing my circumstances, the rent of lodgings to pay, and the provision for the child wanting, and my own deplorable condition, destitute of subsistence for his most solemn engagement to take care of and provide for me.
    Daniel Defoe  --  Moll Flanders
  • But if a man, besides the obligation of a Subject, hath taken upon him a new obligation of a Souldier, then he hath not the liberty to submit to a new Power, as long as the old one keeps the field, and giveth him means of subsistence, either in his Armies, or Garrisons: for in this case, he cannot complain of want of Protection, and means to live as a Souldier: But when that also failes, a Souldier also may seek his Protection wheresoever he has most hope to have it; and may lawfully…
    Thomas Hobbes  --  Leviathan
  • …behalf of March gave him uneasiness on a subject concerning which he had never felt before, and he determined to come to an explanation at once with his visitor; for directness of speech and decision in conduct were two of the best qualities of this rude being, in whom the seeds of a better education seemed to be constantly struggling upwards, to be choked by the fruits of a life in which his hard struggles for subsistence and security had steeled his feelings and indurated his nature.
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Deerslayer
  • But if the natives refuse to conform themselves to their laws they drive them out of those bounds which they mark out for themselves, and use force if they resist, for they account it a very just cause of war for a nation to hinder others from possessing a part of that soil of which they make no use, but which is suffered to lie idle and uncultivated, since every man has, by the law of nature, a right to such a waste portion of the earth as is necessary for his subsistence.
    Thomas More  --  Utopia
  • …race upon race, and generation upon generation, without a home to shelter them or the energies of one single man directed to their aid; how, in seeking, not a luxurious and splendid life, but the bare means of a most wretched and inadequate subsistence, there were women and children in that one town, divided into classes, numbered and estimated as regularly as the noble families and folks of great degree, and reared from infancy to drive most criminal and dreadful trades; how ignorance…
    Charles Dickens  --  Nicholas Nickleby
  • And secondly, There being a round million of creatures in humane figure throughout this kingdom, whose whole subsistence put into a common stock, would leave them in debt two million of pounds sterling, adding those who are beggars by profession, to the bulk of farmers, cottagers and labourers, with their wives and children, who are beggars in effect; I desire those politicians who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the…
    Jonathan Swift  --  A Modest Proposal
  • The subsistence individual, with cropped hair and bony shoulders.
    Don DeLillo  --  Underworld
  • It took work for him to find subsistence in that rocky fastness.
    Zane Grey  --  The Lone Star Ranger
  • I’ve agreed to keep you on operational subsistence until Mundt is eliminated: that seemed the fairest way.
    John Le Carre  --  The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
  • It was not at all certain, he answered, that there would be funds sufficient even to cover "your subsistence and mine."
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • He earned a bare subsistence by writing on the exhibitions of pictures for one or two English papers, and he did a certain amount of translating.
    W. Somerset Maugham  --  Of Human Bondage
  • Agriculture is therefore only suited to those who have already large, superfluous wealth, or to those whose penury bids them only seek a bare subsistence.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 2
  • The judiciary and executive branches were left dependent on the legislative for their subsistence in office, and some of them for their continuance in it.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers — Modern English Edition 2
  • The judiciary and the executive members were left dependent on the legislative for their subsistence in office, and some of them for their continuance in it.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • They had not been obliged by necessity to leave their country; the social position they abandoned was one to be regretted, and their means of subsistence were certain.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
  • The state of inactivity, in which this army has lain for some time, by no means corresponds with my wishes, by some decisive stroke, to relieve my country from the heavy expense its subsistence must create.
    David G. McCullough  --  1776
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Associated words [difficulty]:   subsistence [5] , subsist [4]
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