prey upon

Also found in: Idioms.
References in classic literature ?
The sight of this gang of ruffians banded together to prey upon the clergy had given rise to an idea in the boy's mind, which had been revolving in a nebulous way within the innermost recesses of his subconsciousness since his vanquishing of the three knights had brought him, so easily, such riches in the form of horses, arms, armor and gold.
"To follow Norman of Torn where he may lead, to protect the poor and the weak, to lay down your lives in defence of woman, and to prey upon rich Englishmen and harass the King of England."
Consider, once more, the universal cannibalism of the sea; all whose creatures prey upon each other, carrying on eternal war since the world began.
For men's minds, will either feed upon their own good, or upon others' evil; and who wanteth the one, will prey upon the other; and whoso is out of hope, to attain to another's virtue, will seek to come at even hand, by depressing another's fortune.
He is carnivorous also, and will even attack and conquer the lordly buffalo, dragging his huge carcass to the neighborhood of his den, that he may prey upon it at his leisure.
Hilbery grew old she thought more and more of the past, and this ancient disaster seemed at times almost to prey upon her mind, as if she could not pass out of life herself without laying the ghost of her parent's sorrow to rest.
It is then instructed in the arts of dependence and servitude and eventually turned loose to prey upon the world as a bootblack or scullery maid.
Thinking himself without the pale of humanity, he was restrained by no scruples and he employed his extraordinary gifts of dexterity and imagination, which he had received by way of compensation for his extraordinary uglinesss, to prey upon his fellow-men.
Judge "The law protects girls from men who prey upon them and flatter them and deceive them.
Anytime there are human disasters, it follows--just like night follows day--that there are those who will exploit, prey upon and take advantage of those less fortunate or people thrust into a horrible situation.
The present circumstances have empowered women and forced organisations to take significant steps aimed at changing the culture of misogyny that has allowed men to prey upon women without fear.
But it isn't our gullibility that the anonymous perpetrators prey upon. Rather, every year thousands of people go outside expecting to see an event that supposedly won't happen again for 60,000 years--only to be disappointed when it does not occur.