[pey-uh-buh l]


to be paid; due: a loan payable in 30 days.
capable of being or liable to be paid.
Law. imposing an immediate obligation on the debtor.


an amount, bill, etc., that is to be paid.
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. 2019

Examples from the Web for payable

Historical Examples of payable

  • Endorse this cheque 'Jane Meredith' and make it payable to me personally.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • This dividend was payable in capital stock and was equal to 30 per cent.

    The Railroad Question

    William Larrabee

  • Them checks was payable to "Bearer," you remember, so I give 'em to him.

    The Depot Master

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • This work is sold to subscribers only, payable on delivery of each volume.

    The Electoral Votes of 1876

    David Dudley Field

  • He knew that in that case he would not wish to pay the debt in the only way in which it would be payable.

    Is He Popenjoy?

    Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for payable



(often foll by on) to be paidpayable on the third of each month
that is capable of being paid
capable of being profitable
(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 payable

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper