highway robbery

Idioms & Phrases

highway robbery

The exaction of an exorbitantly high price or fee. For example, You paid ten dollars for that meat? That's highway robbery. This term, used figuratively since the late 1800s, alludes to literal robbery of travelers on or near a public road.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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