live off

verb

lived off; living off; lives off

transitive verb

: to use (something or someone) as the main source of what one needs to survive (such as money or food)
… the indigenous … people, who have inhabited the rain forest of Irian Jaya, living off the land, for thousands of years.Eyal Press
… the fish goes into a kind of hibernation, living off its reserves of fat …Mark Carwardine
… she is one of the few Iditarod competitors who have turned professional, living off race winnings.National Wildlife
… a growing subculture of people who have reduced their spending habits and live off consumer waste.Erika Hayasaki
Max lives off his father …Harold Beaver

Examples of live off in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web People who have a partner that lives off of their income. Becca Stanek, theweek, 26 Apr. 2024 Jasper lives off the grid in a gorgeous modernist house full of books and ephemera; that building features a huge window that looks out into the forest, similar to Aguineau’s smaller window that gazes out into the dark blue expanse. Nicholas Quah, Vulture, 16 Feb. 2024 Two percent of African university graduates study agriculture, when 70 percent of our people are living off the land. Foreign Affairs, 15 Dec. 2014 The orcas that live off the western coast of North America are in trouble. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 May 2024 The Whites can’t work and live off a disability check of less than $1,000 a month. Theresa Clift, Sacramento Bee, 28 May 2024 Several populations of the animals live off the coast of Washington, and they are found throughout most of the world’s oceans. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 22 May 2024 Since emergency pandemic benefits expired last year, kids of single parents making $37,000 a year or more must pay for school lunches while thousands of older adults living off Social Security rely on $40 of food stamps and free pantries every month. Dillon Mullan, Baltimore Sun, 18 Mar. 2024 New York City hotspots like Rockefeller Center, the Met, and Central Park Zoo are a stone’s throw away from Park Avenue, which makes living off the famous strip incredibly desirable. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 12 May 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'live off.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1609, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of live off was in 1609

Dictionary Entries Near live off

Cite this Entry

“Live off.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/live%20off. Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!