[pey-uh-buh l]
  1. to be paid; due: a loan payable in 30 days.
  2. capable of being or liable to be paid.
  3. profitable.
  4. Law. imposing an immediate obligation on the debtor.
  1. an amount, bill, etc., that is to be paid.
  2. payables, the accounts payable of a business: Payables are now handled by our computer.

Origin of payable

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at pay1, -able
Related formspay·a·bil·i·ty, pay·a·ble·ness, nounpay·a·bly, adverbun·pay·a·ble, adjectiveun·pay·a·bly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for payability


  1. (often foll by on) to be paidpayable on the third of each month
  2. that is capable of being paid
  3. capable of being profitable
  4. (of a debt) imposing an obligation on the debtor to pay, esp at once
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

Word Origin and History for payability



late 14c., "to be paid," from pay (v.) + -able or from Old French paiable.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper