running on fumes

running on fumes

Meaning:

  • to continue doing something even when you have no energy left
  • to operate with low resources or money
  • to stay awake even when you are exhausted

Example:

  1. After two nights of continuous work, I’m running on fumes today.
  2. The company had been running on fumes lately, so its hardly surprising that they shut down their operations.
  3. After having partied late into the night, he was running on fumes the next day at work.
  4. Having travelled for the better part of the previous two days, the team was running on fumes on the day of the match and lost.
  5. Have you had any rest? You seem to be running on fumes.
  6. This project has been running on fumes. Its better if we close it.
  7. Having made all the arrangements single-handedly, he was running on fumes on the day of the event and couldn’t enjoy it.
  8. Let’s give him a break. He has been running on fumes after the marathon practice session he had today.

Origin:
This phrase is in reference to an automobile which is low on fuel, but is still running.

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