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Shylock

[shahy-lok]
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noun
  1. a relentless and revengeful moneylender in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.
  2. a hard-hearted moneylender.
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verb (used without object)
  1. (lowercase) to lend money at extortionate rates of interest.
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Related formsShy·lock·i·an, adjectiveShy·lock·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for shylockian

Shylock

noun
  1. a heartless or demanding creditor
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for shylockian

Shylock

n.

"usurer, merciless creditor," 1786, from Jewish money-lender character in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" (c.1596).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

shylockian in Culture

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.

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Note

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.