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 ?
They're feeding off and on all the time at that age."
The bulk of the Bard exhibition, however, was devoted to Murakami's more visually splendid sculptures and paintings, in which he takes as his subject the pullulating fecundity of Japanese manga and anime--comics and animation, for those of you (not) born yesterday--and the weird otaku world greedily feeding off them.
Southerners are more pelagic, feeding off the seas as well as other birds.
They cover your skin five million to the square centimeter, feeding off your body's oils and sweat.
It's the sense that we're all feeding off each other in one way or another.
They are feeding off each other in making the atmosphere around the rink special and the players are feeding off them.
Quick as a flash, McIlroy piped up: "Does that make me Wee Mac?" The best pals spark as a golfing duo and admit they are feeding off the support of the home crowd.
However, they're developing their own movement, feeding off the energy that's percolating in Northern California.
Our environment is being destroyed but human life is more important - and we are feeding off this waste with potentially fatal consequences.