1 definition by 345790

Something which is owed that is ruthlessly required to be paid back.
This derives from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, 1596. The insistence by Shylock of the payment of Antonio's flesh is the central plot device of the play:

SHYLOCK:
The pound of flesh which I demand of him Is deerely bought, 'tis mine, and I will have it.

The figurative use of the phrase to refer to any lawful but nevertheless unreasonable recompense dates to the late 18th century.
by 345790 September 24, 2010

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.

×