Pound of flesh

Pound of flesh is an idiom that has been in use for hundreds of years. We will examine the meaning of the idiom pound of flesh, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

A pound of flesh is recompense that one may legally be entitled to, but is a hardship on the one who must pay the recompense. Someone who exacts his pound of flesh is considered ruthless, inhumane, or unreasonable. The idiom a pound of flesh comes from the play Merchant of Venice, produced by William Shakespeare in 1596. In the play, a literal pound of flesh must be extracted from a character to satisfy a debt.

Examples

“I honestly believe this president has not gotten his pound of flesh yet from past grievances on the 2016 investigation,” said Tom Bossert, Trump’s former homeland security adviser. (The Associated Press)

Sensing a losing battle, Tanwar on Wednesday preferred to take Hooda’s way to coax the party into getting his pound of flesh. (The Deccan Herald)

If the Brexit Party held the balance of power after an election, what would the kingmaker’s pound of flesh be? (Reuters)

But it is tragic that most senior leaders are interested in only extracting their pound of flesh instead of offering collective support to stabilise the sinking ship. (The Telegraph India)