Pound Of Flesh Definition

pounds of flesh
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.


Other Word Forms of Pound Of Flesh


pound of flesh
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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pound of flesh