pound of fleshpound of flesh
due measure owed to one, esp. when demanded out of spite or vengeance
Origin of pound of fleshallusion to Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice IV, 1
pound of flesh
nounpl. pounds of flesh
A debt harshly insisted upon.
Origin of pound of fleshFrom Antonio's debt to Shylock in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.
(plural pounds of flesh)
From Shakepeare's The Merchant of Venice, in which Antonio literally owes a pound of his flesh to the moneylender Shylock.