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 exploit someone or something for one's benefit or advantage. These insurance companies are just trying to make money by feeding off our anxieties. A con man feeds off of gullible simpletons who will fall for his tricks.
See also: feed, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 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 ?
"And they have brought a new kind of energy which is great and the likes of myself, Tommy [Walsh], David [Moran] and Killian Young, they're kind of feeding off us.
'Local shares traded higher feeding off US equities ending the session higher after posting a solid set of July jobs data,' said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at local stock brokerage Regina Capital Development.
"We're sick of people feeding off us and claiming to help us and our zones, when all they're after is money and an MBE.
Yes, I know there is a danger the Scottish game might struggle to survive without the Old Firm but these clubs have been feeding off us for years.