- the period of time required to recoup a capital investment.
- the return on an investment: a payback of 15 percent tax-free.
- the act or fact of paying back; repayment.
- something done in retaliation: a really vicious payback for years of being snubbed.
Origin of payback
First recorded in 1955–60; noun use of verb phrase pay back
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for payback
The payback scene at the end of the new season was really hard to watch.Inside 'Sons of Anarchy's' Final Season: Creator Kurt Sutter on the Most Brutal Season Yet
September 10, 2014
The payback was swift and the re-alignment was total: a Solid South, but this time, Republican.The South Has Indeed Risen Again and It’s Called the Tea Party
December 8, 2013
If a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, the payback from Democrats will be vicious.Obama Really Seems to Be Looking Forward to the End of His Presidency
December 2, 2013
Drive 20,000 miles per year at $4.00 a gallon, and the payback period is shorter—2.5 years.Uncle Sam Embraces Hybrids
May 13, 2013
Payback against those accused of practicing sorcery is a deep-set custom in some parts of the ethnically diverse nation.Where They Still Burn ‘Witches’
February 18, 2013
Word Origin and History for payback
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper