View synonyms for payback


[ pey-bak ]


  1. the period of time required to recoup a capital investment.
  2. the return on an investment:

    This fund yields a payback of 15 percent tax-free.

  3. the act or fact of paying back; repayment.
  4. something done in retaliation:

    Excluding them from her wedding was a vicious payback for years of being snubbed.

verb phrase

    1. to repay or return; pay off:

      Graduates from this program are successfully paying back their student loans.

    2. to retaliate against or punish:

      She paid us back by refusing the invitation.

    3. to requite.
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Word History and Origins

Origin of payback1

First recorded in 1955–60; noun use of verb phrase pay back
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Example Sentences

Rivers popped to his feet and went after Johnson, looking for immediate payback.

I laughed and blamed our son, saying he must’ve hidden them there as payback for having gone skiing without him.

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.

From Time

It’s the method of least disruption, faster payback period, better customer experience and no privacy concerns.

A traumatized nation desperate for security and payback put its faith in an administration primed for war.

The payback scene at the end of the new season was really hard to watch.

Nonetheless, his power also derives from fear: fear of political payback, fear of his alleged wealth.

The payback was swift and the re-alignment was total: a Solid South, but this time, Republican.

If a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, the payback from Democrats will be vicious.

Drive 20,000 miles per year at $4.00 a gallon, and the payback period is shorter—2.5 years.


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