Eye-for-an-eye definition

(idiomatic) Compensation for injury caused by a person, in the form of inflicting of an identical injury on that person.

Alternative Forms

Alternative Form of eye-for-an-eye - eye for eye

Origin of eye-for-an-eye

  • A calque of Hebrew עין תחת עין (ayin tahat ayin), in reference to Exodus 21:23-25: "And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe" (King James Version).

    From Wiktionary