- 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; pay back.
- to result in success or failure: The risk paid off handsomely.
- Nautical. to fall off to leeward.
Origin of payoff
How to use payoff in a sentence
Although the blood-spattered offices will be off-limits, staff have vowed to continue producing the magazine.
A passing off-duty school safety officer named Fred Lucas said that he had been told the man was a drug dealer.
The NOPD fired Knight in 1973 for stealing lumber from a construction site as an off-duty cop.
I was declared innocent, and they said I should pay $104,000.The Story Behind Lee Marvin’s Liberty Valance Smile|Robert Ward|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
The escort site Cowboys4Angels peddles chiseled, hot-bodied men and their smoldering model looks to women willing to pay.Career-Minded Women Turn to Male Escorts For No-Strings Fun and (Maybe) Sex|Aurora Snow|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Now, on my first day here, you pay me back for what I did then—as if it needed paying back!Rosemary in Search of a Father|C. N. Williamson
A far-off volley rumbled over the plain, and a few birds stirred uneasily among the trees.The Red Year|Louis Tracy
“We shall make Mr. Pickwick pay for peeping,” said Fogg, with considerable native humour, as he unfolded his papers.The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2)|Charles Dickens
Condillac after the marquis's death had refused to pay tithes to Mother Church and has flouted and insulted the Bishop.St. Martin's Summer|Rafael Sabatini
Of course, newly acquired Ferns will pay for extra attention in the way of watering until they have secured a proper roothold.How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin
British Dictionary definitions for payoff
Other Idioms and Phrases with payoff
Pay the full amount on a debt or on wages, as in The car's finally paid off, or Les pays off the workers every Friday evening. [Early 1700s]
Produce a profit, as in That gamble did not pay off. [Mid-1900s]
Also, pay off an old score. Get revenge on someone for some grievance, require, as in Jerry was satisfied; he'd paid off his ex-partner when he bought him out at half-price, or Amy went out with her roommate's boyfriend, but she was paying off and old score.
Bribe, as in The owner of the bar paid off the local police so he wouldn't get in trouble for serving liquor to minors. [Colloquial; c. 1900]