Definition of fall prey to (also be or become prey to) in US English:

fall prey to (also be or become prey to)


  • 1Be hunted and killed by (an animal)

    ‘small rodents fell prey to domestic cats’
    • ‘Eggs and hatchlings are the most vulnerable, falling prey to insects, crustaceans, mollusks, small mammals, birds, other reptiles, and various fishes.’
    • ‘Many fall prey to poachers who kill them for meat and steal eggs from the corpses to sell as aphrodisiacs.’
    • ‘In Northeast China, a Siberian tiger was recently found killed after it fell prey to a trap originally set by the locals for boars.’
    1. 1.1 Be vulnerable to or overcome by.
      ‘he would often fall prey to melancholy’
      ‘the settlers become prey to nameless fears’
      • ‘I was at that time subject to normal adolescent laziness, though it was not until much later that I fell prey to the chronic indolence which has caused my lifetime's achievements to have been fairly unremarkable.’
      • ‘I just fell prey to a feeling of having lost something.’
      • ‘In the absence of civic or infrastructure development, people in Sittilingi, Tamil Nadu, fell prey to numerous preventable diseases.’
      • ‘I think that she fell prey to someone much more powerful and more cunning than she was and believed everything he said hook, line, and sinker, and she's a victim of crime, the way I see it.’
      • ‘Still others were too aged for the hard work of building huts, in addition to which they easily fell prey to the tropical fevers and other diseases spread by the mosquitoes and the brackish water that was the settlers' only supply.’
      • ‘Marcus Davey, defending, said his client was honest about what happened, saying he simply fell prey to temptation.’
      • ‘Whether or not he formed political opinions on his own, or simply fell prey to the rhetoric of more intelligent people, remains to be seen, although even his loving wife accused him of being extremely naive at times.’
      • ‘But Marcia fell prey to the cancer that would ultimately kill her.’
      • ‘Though not an arborist, I knew that something had to be done to improve the health of our forest, and it had to be done quickly before the bulk of our trees fell prey to disease or drought.’
      • ‘Economic actors, sage and careful in other things, can in some circumstances fall prey to what Frank calls ‘luxury fever.’’
      succumb to, be overcome by, be overwhelmed by
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