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
Related Words for pay offrefund, return, settlement, restitution, wage, fee, sum, subsidy, deposit, reparation, premium, award, salary, reimbursement, disbursement, outlay, cash, amount, pension, repayment
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
verb pays, paying or payed
Word Origin for pay
c.1200, "to appease, pacify, satisfy," from Old French paier "to pay, pay up" (12c., Modern French payer), from Latin pacare "to please, pacify, satisfy" (in Medieval Latin especially "satisfy a creditor"), literally "make peaceful," from pax (genitive pacis) "peace" (see peace). Meaning "to give what is due for goods or services" arose in Medieval Latin and was attested in English by early 13c.; sense of "please, pacify" died out in English by 1500. Sense of "suffer, endure" (a punishment, etc.) is first recorded late 14c. Related: Paid; paying.
c.1300, "satisfaction, liking, reward," from pay (v.), or else from Old French paie "payment, recompense," from paier. Meaning "money given for labor or services, wages" is from late 14c.
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]
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