Definitions for hand-to-mouth
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
offering or providing the barest livelihood or sustenance; precarious:
a hand-to-mouth existence.
Origin of hand-to-mouth:
providing only bare essentials
"a hand-to-mouth existence"
hand to mouth(adverb)
with barely enough money for immediate needs
"they lived form hand to mouth"
having barely enough to survive, being close to poverty
Origin: from the idiomatic phrase live from hand to mouth
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"hand-to-mouth." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2013. Web. 20 Jun 2013. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/hand-to-mouth>.