[ 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.


Shy·lock·i·an, adjectiveShy·lock·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for shylock

British Dictionary definitions for shylock

/ (ˈʃaɪˌlɒk) /


a heartless or demanding creditor

Word Origin for Shylock

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

Cultural definitions for shylock


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

notes for Shylock

Shylock is a Jew (see also Jews), 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 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.