- to repay or return; pay off: Graduates from this program are successfully paying back their student loans.
- to retaliate against or punish: She paid us back by refusing the invitation.
- to requite.
Origin of payback
Words nearby payback
How to use payback in a sentence
Rivers popped to his feet and went after Johnson, looking for immediate payback.In The 1990s, The New York Knicks Fought Everyone — Even David Stern|Chris Herring (firstname.lastname@example.org)|January 18, 2022|FiveThirtyEight
I laughed and blamed our son, saying he must’ve hidden them there as payback for having gone skiing without him.A Dolomites Trip and a Deeper Connection to Someone Loved and Lost|cobrien|January 16, 2022|Outside Online
We will start up new oil fields and we will invest in new oil fields, but only the ones that have the best carbon intensity, only the ones that have the best economics, the shortest paybacks, the highest returns.BP's CEO Is Trying to Convince the World He's Serious About Going Green|Vivienne Walt|December 5, 2021|Time
It’s the method of least disruption, faster payback period, better customer experience and no privacy concerns.New Zealand-based Imagr thinks camera-based AI is the future of shopping trolleys|Rebecca Bellan|August 27, 2021|TechCrunch
A traumatized nation desperate for security and payback put its faith in an administration primed for war.The critics of war in Afghanistan proved prescient|Jeremy Varon|August 26, 2021|Washington Post
The payback scene at the end of the new season was really hard to watch.Inside 'Sons of Anarchy's' Final Season: Creator Kurt Sutter on the Most Brutal Season Yet|Annaliza Savage|September 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Nonetheless, his power also derives from fear: fear of political payback, fear of his alleged wealth.Game of Thrones’ Ep. 6, ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’: The Riveting Trial of Tyrion Lannister|Andrew Romano|May 12, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The payback was swift and the re-alignment was total: a Solid South, but this time, Republican.The South Has Indeed Risen Again and It’s Called the Tea Party|Jack Schwartz|December 8, 2013|DAILY BEAST
If a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, the payback from Democrats will be vicious.Obama Really Seems to Be Looking Forward to the End of His Presidency|Dean Obeidallah|December 2, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Drive 20,000 miles per year at $4.00 a gallon, and the payback period is shorter—2.5 years.Uncle Sam Embraces Hybrids|Daniel Gross|May 13, 2013|DAILY BEAST
British Dictionary definitions for payback
- the return on an investment
- Also called: payback period the time taken for a project to cover its outlay
- something done in order to gain revenge
- (as modifier)payback killings
Other Idioms and Phrases with payback
Repay a debt or a loan, as in I'll pay you back next month.
Also, pay back in someone's own coin. Revenge oneself, repay in kind, as in He thought he could get away with copying my plans, but I'll pay him back in his own coin. This expression refers to repaying a debt in exactly the same currency in which the money had been lent. [c. 1600]