just deserts

Idioms & Phrases

just deserts

A deserved punishment or reward, as in He got his just deserts when Mary jilted him. This idiom employs desert in the sense of "what one deserves," a usage dating from the 1300s but obsolete except in this expression.

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