Earn a Living

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Also found in: Idioms.

Earn a Living

To make money in order to provide for personal and family expenses. In general, one earns a living with a job, which is an occupation for which one is compensated. Some earn their livings through investments or through owning a business.
References in classic literature ?
We fear, though, that we shall have much trouble in earning a living for ourselves.
The crime of not earning a living, in their case, is called vagrancy.
I think I should have shown a strong vocation in boyhood, crushed by the will of his father or sacrificed to the necessity of earning a living; I should have pictured him impatient of the restraints of life; and in the struggle between his passion for art and the duties of his station I could have aroused sympathy for him.