lean and hungry look

A phrase from the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. Caesar remarks, concerning one of the men conspiring against him, “Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look.” Caesar means that Cassius looks dangerously dissatisfied, as if he were starved for power.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.