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See more synonyms for payback on Thesaurus.com
  1. the period of time required to recoup a capital investment.
  2. the return on an investment: a payback of 15 percent tax-free.
  3. the act or fact of paying back; repayment.
  4. something done in retaliation: a really vicious payback for years of being snubbed.
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Origin of payback

First recorded in 1955–60; noun use of verb phrase pay back
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for payback

reimbursement, compensation, reparation, repayment, profit, accrual, yield, reciprocation, take, interest, income, gate, reward, proceeds, gain, recompense, accruement

Examples from the Web for payback

Contemporary Examples of payback

Word Origin and History for payback


also pay-back, 1946, "net return on profits from an investment," from pay (v.) + back (adj.). Meaning "revenge" is attested from 1957.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper