|1.||the soft part of the body of an animal or human, esp muscular tissue, as distinct from bone and visceraRelated: sarcoid|
|2.||informal excess weight; fat|
|3.||archaic the edible tissue of animals as opposed to that of fish or, sometimes, fowl; meat|
|4.||the thick usually soft part of a fruit or vegetable, as distinct from the skin, core, stone, etc|
|5.||the human body and its physical or sensual nature as opposed to the soul or spiritRelated: carnal|
|6.||mankind in general|
|7.||animate creatures in general|
|8.||one's own family; kin (esp in the phrase one's own flesh and blood)|
|9.||a yellowish-pink to greyish-yellow colour|
|10.||Christian Science belief on the physical plane which is considered erroneous, esp the belief that matter has sensation|
|11.||(modifier) tanning of or relating to the inner or under layer of a skin or hide: a flesh split|
|12.||in the flesh in person; actually present|
|13.||make one's flesh creep (esp of something ghostly) to frighten and horrify one|
|14.||informal press the flesh to shake hands, usually with large numbers of people, esp in political campaigning|
|15.||(tr) hunting to stimulate the hunting instinct of (hounds or falcons) by giving them small quantities of raw flesh|
|16.||to wound the flesh of with a weapon|
|17.||archaic, poetic or to accustom or incite to bloodshed or battle by initial experience|
|18.||tanning to remove the flesh layer of (a hide or skin)|
|19.||to fatten; fill out|
|Related: sarcoid, carnal|
|[Old English flǣsc; related to Old Norse flesk ham, Old High German fleisk meat, flesh]|
|pound of flesh|
|something that is one's legal right but is an unreasonable demand (esp in the phrase to have one's pound of flesh)|
|[from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (1596), Act IV, scene i]|
The soft tissue of the body of a vertebrate, covering the bones and consisting mainly of skeletal muscle and fat.
Creditors who insist on having their “pound of flesh” are those who cruelly demand the repayment of a debt, no matter how much suffering it will cost the debtor: “The bank will have its pound of flesh; it is going to foreclose on our mortgage and force us to sell our home.” The expression is from The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare.
A phrase from the play The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare. The moneylender Shylock demands the flesh of the “merchant of Venice,” Antonio, under a provision in their contract. Shylock never gets the pound of flesh, however, because the character Portia discovers a point of law that overrides the contract: Shylock is forbidden to shed any blood in getting the flesh from Antonio's body.
Note: People who cruelly or unreasonably insist on their rights are said to be demanding their “pound of flesh.”
in the Old Testament denotes (1) a particular part of the body of man and animals (Gen. 2:21; 41:2; Ps. 102:5, marg.); (2) the whole body (Ps. 16:9); (3) all living things having flesh, and particularly humanity as a whole (Gen. 6:12, 13); (4) mutability and weakness (2 Chr. 32:8; comp. Isa. 31:3; Ps. 78:39). As suggesting the idea of softness it is used in the expression "heart of flesh" (Ezek. 11:19). The expression "my flesh and bone" (Judg. 9:2; Isa. 58:7) denotes relationship. In the New Testament, besides these it is also used to denote the sinful element of human nature as opposed to the "Spirit" (Rom. 6:19; Matt. 16:17). Being "in the flesh" means being unrenewed (Rom. 7:5; 8:8, 9), and to live "according to the flesh" is to live and act sinfully (Rom. 8:4, 5, 7, 12). This word also denotes the human nature of Christ (John 1:14, "The Word was made flesh." Comp. also 1 Tim. 3:16; Rom. 1:3).
pound of flesh
A debt whose payment is harshly insisted on, as in The other members of the cartel all want their pound of flesh from Brazil. This expression alludes to the scene in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (4:1) where the moneylender Shylock demands the pound of flesh promised him in payment for a loan, and Portia responds that he may have it but without an ounce of blood (since blood was not promised). [c. 1600]