prey

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Related to preys: predaceous

prey on (one's) mind

To cause one a lot of worry, concern, or anxiety, especially for a long period of time. I know that money issues have been preying on his mind ever since the company began issuing pay cuts. I really acted like a jerk on Friday night, and it's been preying on my mind all weekend long.
See also: mind, on, prey

fall prey to (someone or something)

To have one's vulnerability exploited by someone or something, leading to harm, destruction, or manipulation; to become a victim of someone or something. It is unfortunately very common for elderly people to fall prey to online scam artists, who take advantage of their lack of technological know-how. Many major cities have fallen prey to terrorist activity in recent months.
See also: fall, prey

prey (up)on (someone or something)

1. Of a predatory animal, to hunt and feed on another animal. Mountain lions have been coming down into town to prey on people's pets. You can tell that this bird preys upon insects by the shape of its beak.
2. To exploit, victimize, or take advantage of someone or something. There are many thieves and con-artists in the city who prey on unsuspecting tourists. These megacorporations are all too willing to prey upon consumers.
See also: prey

be prey to (someone or something)

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

prey on something

[for an animal] to feed on another animal as a matter of habit or preference. Owls prey on mice. Many birds prey on snakes.
See also: on, prey

prey (up)on someone or something

Fig. to take advantage of someone or something. (See also prey on something. Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) The people of that island prey on tourists and do not give them good treatment. I really don't want to seem to prey upon your kindness.
See also: on, prey

prey on

1. Plunder or pillage; also, make a profit at someone else's expense, victimize. For example, Vikings preyed on the coastal towns of England, or The rich have been preying on the poor for centuries. [Late 1500s]
2. Hunt, especially in order to eat, as in Their cat preys on all the rodents in the neighborhood. [c. 1600]
3. Exert a baneful or injurious effect, as in Guilt preyed on his mind. [c. 1700]
See also: on, prey

fall prey to something

COMMON If you fall prey to something bad, it happens to you or you are affected by it. On the flight from Paris to Toulon, Mechiche fell prey to panic. Children in evacuation centres are falling prey to disease.
See also: fall, prey, something

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

ˌprey on somebody’s ˈmind

(also ˌplay on somebody’s ˈmind) worry or trouble somebody very much: The death of his father is really preying on his mind at the moment. He thinks it was his fault.The question of whether to accept the new job and move to Scotland had been playing on his mind for days.
See also: mind, on, prey

prey on

v.
1. To hunt and kill something for food: Owls prey on mice.
2. To exploit or make a profit at the expense of someone; take advantage of someone: Pickpockets often prey on unsuspecting tourists.
3. To exert a harmful or injurious effect on something or someone: Guilt preyed on him, and eventually led him to confess.
See also: on, prey

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 ?
The feeding trial conducted in laboratory showed that spiders preyed on all types of preys offered with different proportions.
On mainland areas rodents, rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus and, in Australia, reptiles are usually the main prey of cats (Liberg 1984, Woods et al.
These complexities of prey predator interactions are relevant in determining success of mosquito control using natural predators like indigenous fishes and predatory insects.
During autumn-winter 2006 (May) and autumn-winter 2007 (April-August) we collected pellets (n = 94) and remains of prey (n = 128) beneath trees and utility poles used as perches by [greater than or equal to] 2 groups of Harris' hawks.
1994; Griffths 1980, 1986; Heinrich and Heinrich 1984) observed that the increase in both body size and trap size are positively related to the success of capturing preys.
In first experiment, each predator (adult/larvae) was fed a prey species at different densities (30, 40 and 50).
Euryopis coki (Theridiidae), a spider that preys on Pogonomyrmex ants.
The wheat wasps, which attack their prey much as A.
A diversity of preys were identified with birds dominating in number 37% followed by rodents 20%, frogs/toads 13.
The proportion of prey killed at different densities of prey represents type II functional response both in laboratory and mesocosm.
Next preys were counted under the binocular stereo microscope by immersing them in distilled water in a back-light petri dish.
Six different prey types were collected from the field and subjected to choice and no choice feeding experiments in the laboratory.