have the devil to pay

have the devil to pay

To encounter a huge amount of trouble, typically as a result of some particular thing happening (or not). You'll have the devil to pay if they catch us sneaking out this late at night! I just worry that we'll have the devil to pay if he gets elected president.
See also: devil, have, pay
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

have the devil to pay

 and have hell to pay
Inf. to have a great deal of trouble. (Use hell with caution.) If you cheat on your income taxes, you'll have the devil to pay. I came home after three in the morning and had hell to pay.
See also: devil, have, pay
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The sentence suggested that those who didn't toe the line would "truly have the devil to pay ...."
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