feed off (of) (someone or something)

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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 their mother for a few more days. The tribe primarily feeds off of nuts, berries, and tubers they forage in the forest.
2. By extension, to use someone or something to one's advantage. These insurance companies are just trying to make money by feeding off our anxieties.
See also: feed, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Whenever you can go out during pre-game warmups and feed off of energy because the fans are there packing the stadium that early, it truly is special," Mahomes explained.
On of the biggest mistakes that a homeowner can make during a bed bug infestation is thinking if they abandon the home the bed bugs will die from have no blood to feed off of. This is a myth.
He owns five commercial properties within nearly a block's radius and agrees with the prevailing idea that the residential and commercial markets synergistically will feed off of one another.
Given that some bacteria feed off of methane, its formation below Earth's surface could help explain how microorganisms subsist in extreme environments.
Attendees remarked repeatedly what a great backdrop the city and its gourmet culture are for the event and how, in a town like this, not only does the city feed off of the show, but the show feeds off of the city.
The beach provides muscle heads with an outlet to display their hard work; teenage attention hounds with an audience to feed off of; aspiring circus performers with a juggling forum; chess enthusiasts with a table and opponent, sports fanatics with field and play; fishermen with dock and smelt; and skateboarders with obstacle and freedom.
Dollars and policy always feed off of one another in Washington, but rarely has the balance been so heavily tilted to the dollar end of the scale as during the flurry of farm policy activity before Congress departed town for its annual summer recess.
"We need to feed off of each other's successes and learning experiences to benefit the overall team."