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90s Slang You Should Know


[shahy-lok] /ˈʃaɪ lɒk/
a relentless and revengeful moneylender in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.
a hard-hearted moneylender.
verb (used without object)
(lowercase) to lend money at extortionate rates of interest.
Related forms
Shylockian, adjective
Shylocky, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Shylock
Historical Examples
  • Betty's clever interpretation of Shylock won the applause for the first act.

  • Shylock is confounded further by a charge of endangering a Christian's life.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • Madame Desvarennes loves her daughter with a more formidable love than Shylock had for his gold.

    Serge Panine, Complete Georges Ohnet
  • And mother, too, if she likes, though I should love to see her made-up as Shylock!

    About Peggy Saville Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
  • You havent any chances with the law, Shylock, retorted Murray.

    The Best Policy Elliott Flower
  • The idea of Shylock as a blonde was too ridiculous to be tolerated.

    About Peggy Saville Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
  • The lesson of Shylock is not profound, but its mastery saves a world of trouble.

    American Sketches Charles Whibley
  • He would be Shylock, whether we liked it or not, so let him take the consequences.

    About Peggy Saville Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
  • There was the Shylock, the Shakespearian method, of a pound of flesh from near the heart.

    A Cadet's Honor Upton Sinclair
  • That wealth can produce wealth is the assumption of Shylock.

    Usury Calvin Elliott
British Dictionary definitions for Shylock


a heartless or demanding creditor
Word Origin
C19: after Shylock, the name of the heartless usurer in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (1596)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Shylock

"usurer, merciless creditor," 1786, from Jewish money-lender character in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" (c.1596).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Shylock in Culture

Shylock definition

The merciless moneylender in The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare. He demands a pound of flesh from the title character of the play after the merchant defaults on his debt.

Note: Shylock is a Jew, and there has long been controversy over whether Shakespeare's portrayal of Shylock contributes to prejudice against Jews. Shylock is a cruel miser and eventually is heavily fined and disgraced, but he maintains his dignity. At one point in the play, he makes a famous, eloquent assertion that his desire for revenge is the same desire that a Christian would feel in his place. “I am a Jew,” says Shylock. “Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for Shylock



: that were into them for shylock money and couldn't make the payments (1980s+)


A usurer; loan shark, shy: In Toronto and Hamilton both, loan sharks (''shylocks'') appeared in the gambling clubs (1786+)


: the shylocking that went with it as hot dogs go with baseball/ numbers games, shylocking, and other illegal operations (1930+)

[fr the character in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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