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price on one's head

A reward for capturing or killing someone, usually someone guilty of a crime. For example, He was a serial killer, and they put a price on his head. The head in this term presumably alludes to the older punishment of beheading. [Mid-1700s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.