- 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. 2019
- informal blatant overcharging
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
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.