verb (used with object), paid or ( Obsolete except for def 12 ) payed, pay·ing.
verb (used without object), paid, pay·ing.
Verb Phrases past and past participle paid or ( Obsolete except for def 30c ) payed, present participle pay·ing.
- to pay (part of the total price) at the time of purchase, with the promise to pay the balance in installments: On this plan you pay only ten percent down.
- to pay off or back; amortize: The company's debt is being paid down rapidly.
- to pay (someone) everything that is due that person, especially to do so and discharge from one's employ.
- to pay (a debt) in full.
- Informal. to bribe.
- to retaliate upon or punish.
- Nautical. to fall off to leeward.
- to result in success or failure: The risk paid off handsomely.
- to distribute (money, wages, etc.); disburse.
- to get revenge upon for an injury; punish.
- to let out (a rope) by slackening.
- to pay fully.
- to pay on demand: The gangsters used threats of violence to force the shopkeepers to pay up.
- to pay for (goods, services, etc.) at the time of purchase, as opposed to buying on credit.
- to spend no more than income permits; keep out of debt.
- to pay income tax by regular deductions from one's salary or wages.
- to repay or return: to pay back a loan.
- to retaliate against or punish: She paid us back by refusing the invitation.
- to requite.
- to pay one's portion of shared expenses.
- to yield a return on one's investment sufficient to repay one's expenses: It will take time for the restaurant to begin paying its way.
Origin of pay1
SYNONYMS FOR pay
British Dictionary definitions for pay back (1 of 3)
verb (tr, adverb)
- the return on an investment
- Also called: payback period the time taken for a project to cover its outlay
- something done in order to gain revenge
- (as modifier)payback killings
British Dictionary definitions for pay back (2 of 3)
verb pays, paying or paid
- to contribute one's share of expenses
- to remain solvent without outside help
- money given in return for work or services; a salary or wage
- (as modifier)a pay slip; pay claim
Word Origin for pay
British Dictionary definitions for pay back (3 of 3)
verb pays, paying or payed
Word Origin for pay
Idioms and Phrases with pay back (1 of 2)
Repay a debt or a loan, as in I'll pay you back next month.
Also, pay back in someone's own coin. Revenge oneself, repay in kind, as in He thought he could get away with copying my plans, but I'll pay him back in his own coin. This expression refers to repaying a debt in exactly the same currency in which the money had been lent. [c. 1600]
Idioms and Phrases with pay back (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with pay
- pay a call
- pay a compliment
- pay as you go
- pay attention
- pay a visit
- pay back
- pay court to
- pay dirt, hit
- pay for
- pay off
- pay one's dues
- pay one's respects
- pay one's way
- pay out
- pay the piper
- pay through the nose
- pay up
- pay your money and take your choice
- (pay the piper) call the tune
- crime does not pay
- devil to pay
- hell to pay
- lip service, pay
- rob Peter to pay Paul
- you get what you pay for