- robbery committed on a highway against travelers, as by a highwayman.
- Informal. a price or fee that is unreasonably high; exorbitant charge.
Origin of highway robbery
First recorded in 1770–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- informal blatant overcharging
Idioms and Phrases with 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® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.