pound of flesh


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*pound of flesh

Fig. a payment or punishment that involves suffering and sacrifice on the part of the person being punished. (*Typically: give someone ~; owe someone ~; pay someone ~; take ~.) He wants revenge. He won't be satisfied until he takes his pound of flesh.
See also: flesh, of, pound

your pound of flesh

if someone demands their pound of flesh, they make someone give them something that they owe them, although they do not need it and it will cause problems for the other person
Usage notes: This phrase comes from Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of Venice.
His boss, demanding his pound of flesh, made him come into work even though his daughter was seriously ill.
See also: flesh, of, pound

pound of flesh

A debt whose payment is harshly insisted on, as in The other members of the cartel all want their pound of flesh from Brazil. This expression alludes to the scene in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (4:1) where the moneylender Shylock demands the pound of flesh promised him in payment for a loan, and Portia responds that he may have it but without an ounce of blood (since blood was not promised). [c. 1600]
See also: flesh, of, pound
References in periodicals archive ?
Character flaws become exaggerated; characters who believe they hold the upper hand become unyielding: first Shylock, who will be satisfied only by his pound of flesh, then Portia, who will be satisfied only by Shylock's complete ruin.
The Duke begins the proceedings by urging Shylock to show mercy but Shylock replies that the law gives him the right to the pound of flesh and that he need give no other reason for demanding it.
Sadly they, like Mr Assange, are finding the established order wants its pound of flesh for daring to disturb Mr and Mrs Wales/Cornwall/Windsor and their precious Rolls, an event which gave me the biggest laugh of the year
If he can't pay back the money, Shylock can extract a pound of flesh from Antonio.
It tells us this book is about Jews who got their pound of flesh.
As the Government won't give them any, let's get another pound of flesh from the unemployed.
Now that we finally have a price reduction, garages are threatening to put their customers off the road to obtain their pound of flesh.
Surely he must have known the unions would one day demand their pound of flesh.
Flushed by the approbation of the Con-Dem Coalition, he outlines his polemic plans to hound the already beleaguered elements of society with the equally culpable George Osborne to descend like vultures upon the defenceless infirm and extract their pound of flesh, and further compound the felonies this Coalition perpetrates to maintain the tottering citadels of privilege.
Cole will be docked a fortnight's wages, around PS240,000, when Chelsea throw the book at the wayward social networker and the FA will want their pound of flesh, too.
WELSH film-makers are hoping to claim their own pound of flesh from the horror genre with a new addition to the Living Dead zombie series.
According to their record company it's "an agitable, tense and tetchy melodic laceration of neo/new/no/non/post/wave, an anthemic torchbearing, porch-burning anti-opera fuelled by a rash of thrash and a pound of flesh.
I had my pound of flesh in the dressing room and I'll have another pound when we get back in training today.
1 FEEL myself getting behind a retired general (Peter Savill's column, February 28) and wanting to join his ranks vis a vis the government seeking its pound of flesh when it has no right to sell the Tote.
The council never stints on getting their pound of flesh but when it comes to their own.