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Adjective: hardscrabble  'haa(r)d,skra-bul
  1. Barely satisfying a lower standard
    "the sharecropper's hardscrabble life"

See also: meager [N. Amer], meagerly [N. Amer], meagre [Brit, Cdn], meagrely [Brit, Cdn], scrimpy, stingy

Encyclopedia: Hardscrabble, Illinois