taste of one's own medicine

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taste of one's own medicine

  1. (idiomatic, usually preceded by a) Harsh treatment inflicted on one who previously inflicted similar or equivalent treatment on others.
    • 1916, Rex Ellingwood Beach, chapter 27, in Rainbow's End:
      "The man's spirit is evil enough to frighten people away and we will drop stones upon him, so that he can learn the taste of his own medicine."
    • 1919, Joseph A. Altsheler, chapter 5, in The Sun Of Quebec:
      The Long Tom in the stern of the schooner opened fire . . . and two men were seen to go down. The captain laughed. "That's a taste of their own medicine," he said.
    • 2001 June 24, Richard Zoglin, "Hey, Wanna Buy Some Pix?," Time:
      Some stars reportedly even want to investigate the private lives of tabloid editors, to give them a taste of their own medicine.