payoff

[ pey-awf, -of ]
/ ˈpeɪˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun

adjective

yielding results, especially rewarding or decisive results: The payoff play was the long pass into the end zone.

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Origin of payoff

First recorded in 1910–15; noun, adj. use of verb phrase pay off
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for payoff

pay off

verb

noun payoff

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with payoff

pay off

1

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]

2

Produce a profit, as in That gamble did not pay off. [Mid-1900s]

3

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.

4

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]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.