Pound-of-flesh Definition

pounds of flesh
noun
A debt harshly insisted upon.
American Heritage
Due measure owed to one, esp. when demanded out of spite or vengeance.
Webster's New World

(idiomatic) Something which is owed and which will be hurtful or difficult to provide; a debt owed to someone who is merciless and demanding.

Wiktionary

Other Word Forms of Pound-of-flesh

Noun

Singular:
pound-of-flesh
Plural:
pounds of flesh

Origin of Pound-of-flesh

  • From Shakepeare's The Merchant of Venice, in which Antonio literally owes a pound of his flesh to the moneylender Shylock.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Antonio's debt to Shylock in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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