A pound of flesh Meaning

Definition: Payment the is owed, which might be built up in a cruel or vengeful way.

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Origin of A lb of Flesh

This expression comes from one that the works of the English playwright william Shakespeare. It appears in his beat Merchant the Venice, native the year 1596.

In this play, a moneylender has actually a contract with merchant that requirements the merchant give that a pound of his flesh, or body, in payment. Obviously, for the merchant to salary with part of his human body would damage him greatly, although that is in their contract.

The ongoing insistence that he salary of his own flesh is the central plot machine in the play.

Examples that A lb of Flesh

Here is an instance in which 2 roommates are discussing a problem one of them is having at work.

Mario: Hey, Axel, I need your advice.

Axel: Sure. Those going on?

Mario: Well, girlfriend remember the my job readily available to pay because that my college if I operated for them till I paid it off, right?

Axel: Yeah. Why?

Mario: So ns just obtained this amazing job offer from one more law firm! the way better than my present job.

Axel: Congratulations!

Mario: Thanks, but, unfortunately, the seems favor I can’t accept it. I didn’t establish it at the time, but my contract through my current job forbids me indigenous accepting one more job till my current contract is complete.

Axel: What wake up if you rest the contract?

Mario: Then i owe my present job the complete amount the my college expenses.

Axel: walk that encompass the amount you currently worked to salary off?

Mario: ns would need to pay also for the lot I already worked off.

Axel: it is terrible!

Mario: ns know. Ns mean, ns realize the company has to have actually its lb of flesh, yet I quiet expected an ext from them. They are so ruthless!

More Examples

This excerpt is about a widow whose husband died, but is still responsible because that his car lease.

The 2nd excerpt is about tax reform in California.

See more: Why Are The Broadcast Media More Strictly Regulated Than The Print Media


The idiom a lb of flesh describes something that one human must pay to one more due come a contract or various other legal agreement. Nonetheless, this payment is harsh or abominable come ask for.


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