Dictionary.com

payback

[ pey-bak ]
/ ˈpeɪˌbæk /
Save This Word!

noun

the period of time required to recoup a capital investment.
the return on an investment: a payback of 15 percent tax-free.
the act or fact of paying back; repayment.
something done in retaliation: a really vicious payback for years of being snubbed.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

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. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for payback

British Dictionary definitions for payback

pay back

verb (tr, adverb)

to retaliate againstto pay someone back for an insult
to give or do (something equivalent) in return for a favour, insult, etc
to repay (a loan)

noun payback

  1. the return on an investment
  2. Also called: payback period the time taken for a project to cover its outlay
  1. something done in order to gain revenge
  2. (as modifier)payback killings
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

Idioms and Phrases with payback

pay back

1

Repay a debt or a loan, as in I'll pay you back next month.

2

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]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Tired of Typos? Get Help Now!