Feeding Frenzy – Idiom, Meaning & Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

The phrase feeding frenzy might evoke images of a chaotic buffet or a violent Thanksgiving dinner. But, even though it has some literal origins, we now use the phrase in other ways. I’m going to break down all the details of its definition and show you how to use it in a sentence.

Is Feeding Frenzy an Idiom?

Absolutely, yes! The phrase feeding frenzy is a delightful idiom. It refers not to the aftermath of a 2-for-1 pizza deal but to a state of intense excitement or activity, usually to take advantage of something.

Feeding Frenzy Meaning Explained

Feeding Frenzy – Idiom Meaning Origin

A feeding frenzy refers to a situation where there is extreme competition for some resource or opportunity and sometimes leaves one person or group vulnerable. The idiom paints a vivid picture of a group of animals (usually fish, but hey, we’re not picky) going wild and chomping down on food.

In human terms, it could describe a group of shoppers on Black Friday or journalists scrambling for a scoop. It actually reminds me of a feeding frenzy I was recently part of! One of my favorite book box subscriptions, FairyLoot, had a flash sale of a special edition book I love.

But, thousands of other readers also love this particular book, and there were limited copies available. When it launched, we were all ready with our fingers hovering over the buy now button, and it was such a feeding frenzy that we crashed their website!

Origin and Etymology Behind Feeding Frenzy

While feeding frenzy might sound like the latest trend in competitive eating, it actually originated from observations of natural animal behavior. The term came into use in the mid-20th century, typically used to describe sharks’ aggressive eating behavior when they smell blood.

Gerald L. Warren gave a speech in 1977 where he compared the behavior and tactics performed by some journalists to the feeding frenzy of real sharks.

Feeding Frenzy Synonyms

  • Competitive scramble
  • Mad rush
  • Wild dash
  • Intense hustle
  • Manic pursuit

Feeding Frenzy Sentence Examples

Feeding Frenzy – Idiom Meaning Origin 1

Now let’s serve up some sentence examples of feeding frenzy in action:

  • The release of the new gaming console created a feeding frenzy in the tech community.
  • Black Friday sales often turn shopping malls into a feeding frenzy.
  • The media went into a feeding frenzy when the scandal broke.
  • The sudden drop in property prices triggered a feeding frenzy among investors.
  • The singer’s surprise concert tickets caused a feeding frenzy among fans.
  • The discount aisle in the supermarket was a feeding frenzy.
  • The recruitment event turned into a feeding frenzy as companies vied for top talent.
  • The leaked documents sent the reporters into a feeding frenzy.
  • News of the gold discovery set off a feeding frenzy among prospectors.
  • The unexpected vacancy in the executive suite triggered a feeding frenzy among the ambitious staff.

Wrapping It Up!

The phrase feeding frenzy won’t give you indigestion, but it will give you a vibrant way to describe intense competition or excitement. Whether you’re a shark circling the waters or a Black Friday shopper sniffing out deals, a feeding frenzy is a spectacle to behold. I know it’s fun to use in conversation, but try not to live it too literally! After all, who wants to end up with a stomachache?