eye for an eye
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eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth).
Prov. If someone hurts you, you should punish the offender by hurting him or her in the same way. (An ancient principle of justice going back to biblical times.) When they were children, the two brothers operated on the principle of an eye for an eye, so that if the older one hit the younger one, the younger one was entitled to hit him back just as hard.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
eye for an eye, an
Revenge or retribution, repayment in kind. This term comes from Mosaic law as expressed in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy (19:21): “Thine eye shall not pity, but life shall for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” The sentiment and wording were repeated in the Book of Leviticus (24:20) but countermanded in the Gospel of St. Matthew (5:38–39), which tells us instead to turn the other cheek.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
- Give an inch and he'll take a mile
- butter wouldn't melt (in his/her mouth), looks as if
- One's bark is worse than bite
- many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip, there's
- trouble shared is a trouble halved
- thing you don't want is dear at any price
- mind one's p's and q's, to
- Set a beggar on horseback, and he'll ride to the devil
- leave out of