price on one's head

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the earlier punishment of beheading criminals. The usage of this idiom began in the mid-1700s.

Noun[edit]

price on one's head (plural prices on ones' heads)

  1. (idiomatic) A compensation for capturing or killing a person, especially someone guilty of a crime.
    The police put a price on his head after he killed four innocent women.

References[edit]

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer