from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A ruthless moneylender; a loan shark.
  • intransitive v. To lend money at exorbitant interest rates.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A loan shark.
  • v. To lend money at exorbitant rates of interest.


After Shylock, the ruthless Jewish usurer in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the character Shylock, in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (Wiktionary)


  • State law uses "shylock" in a statute dealing with loan sharks, language that is "offensive to the Jewish people," said state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Democrat.

    Latest News

  • If you're like me, you'd rather work with your customers than play shylock, but at some point enough is enough.

    Make Them Pay

  • In "Crazy as a Soup Sandwich," a script that was a produced episode of the second incarnation of the Twilight Zone television show, a low-rent petty crook and shylock, Arky Lochner, makes an ill-advised deal with the Devil—well, a demon, at least, and his time is about to run out.

    Cell Phonery

  • At the present time, Parisi had almost two million dollars on the street in shylock loans, which brought in close to twenty thousand a week in interest.

    The Big Scam

  • CAFFERTY: Take my taxes to a shylock and get them done before I go out, just based on that commercial.

    CNN Transcript Feb 2, 2004

  • After the briefest of pauses, Reid launched into a long anecdote about a shylock named Salvatore Marriano who took payment in salted herring from a destitute fishmonger named Bernard Boyle.

    Little Girl Blue

  • The man was known to occasionally shylock to businessmen and desperate oil wildcatters.

    American Tabloid

  • I lived outdoors and put every damn good dime back into my business, then took out loans from every bank and shylock willing to lend money and bought damn good property -- damn good and cheap.

    White Jazz

  • The third was to an indy shylock: seven thousand dollars at 20 percent, $8,400 due April 10 — his woman out of trouble, his gift for her grief: Gene Niles with his face blown off on her bed.

    The Big Nowhere

  • At one point, as the three questioned the consultant's cleaning staff, the ex-shylock threatened to break their bones unless they confessed.

    The New Republic - All Feed


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