feed off

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Related to feed off: feed on, cut some slack, tucked away

feed off (of) (someone or something)

1. Literally, to use someone or something as a source of sustenance. The kittens still need to feed off of their mother for a few more days.
2. By extension, to use something to one's advantage. These insurance companies are just trying to make money by feeding off our anxieties.
See also: feed, off

feed off (of) something

to eat something in particular customarily. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) This creature feeds off fallen fruit. Mosquitoes seem to want to feed off of me!
See also: feed, off

feed off

To be nourished, sustained, or fueled by something: The microbes feed off the decaying seaweed. The politicians are feeding off of the public's fear.
See also: feed, off
References in periodicals archive ?
They just feed off the fat of the forest," he concludes.
As it turns out, not one microbe but two probably work as a tag team to feed off the methane.
263) or deep-sea communities that feed off mineral-rich hydrothermal vents.
The outer shells of manganese oxide are not impenetrable and thus may allow bacteria to feed off of the carbon, which it needs to grow, Sunda suggests.