fall prey to

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to fall prey to: off-chance, defer to, in its entirety, pick up on, come to fruition, give rise to, give it a shot, fell prey

fall prey to (someone or something)

To have one's vulnerability exploited by someone or something, leading to harm, destruction, or manipulation. It unfortunately very common for elderly people to fall prey to scam artists online, who take advantage of their lack of technological know-how. Many major cities, once thought to be untouchable by such attacks, have been falling prey to terrorist activity in recent months.
See also: fall, prey

fall prey to

1 be hunted and killed by. 2 be vulnerable to or overcome by.
See also: fall, prey

be/fall ˈprey to something

(formal) be harmed or affected by something bad: He was often prey to doubt and despair.Thousands of small businesses are falling prey to high interest rates.
Prey is an animal, a bird, etc. that is hunted, killed and eaten by another animal.
See also: fall, prey, something

fall prey to

To be put into such a vulnerable position as to be at risk of harm, destruction, or invasion: a person who fell prey to swindlers; did not want the country to fall prey to terrorists.
See also: fall, prey
References in periodicals archive ?
Here they fall prey to holiday consumerism before realizing that Christmas is really about kindness and hospitality.
Innovate, or you'll fall prey to the self-fulfilling prophecy.
Struggling to survive in a soft market, small insurers could fall prey to their larger competitors.
COLONEL Mustard, Miss Scarlett and the rest of the Cluedo cast could soon fall prey to the latest weapon to be added to the famous board game's weapon list - a bottle of poison.
However, in more dramatic instances patients are beginning to fall prey to opportunistic infections.
They are twice as likely to fall prey to cot death syndrome.
New studies suggest that people who fall prey to a severe stress reaction following military combat or sexual abuse have an unusually small hippocampus, a brain structure that helps to regulate memory.
Unfortunately, it has also become an area in which consumers can easily fall prey to deceptive business practices.
Will and Ado Annie finally come to an understanding that their relationship will be ``All 'Er Nothin''' and Ali willingly surrenders her only to fall prey to Gertie's (Amber Van Loon) wiles - and her annoying laugh.
A FREEPHONE helpline for runaway youngsters has been launched in a bid to reach them before they fall prey to ``human vultures'' such as pimps and drug pushers.
As the ex-gay movement continues to gather force, Chester hopes his film will drive home a number of messages not only to the ministries but also to gay people who fall prey to them.
Bathed in this sea of germs, why doesn't even the slightest cut fall prey to serious infection?