[ pey-bak ]
/ ˈpeɪˌbæk /


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.

Nearby words

  1. pay-per-click,
  2. pay-per-view,
  3. pay-to-play,
  4. pay-tv,
  5. payable,
  6. paybox,
  7. paycheck,
  8. payday,
  9. payday lender,
  10. paydirt

Origin of payback

First recorded in 1955–60; noun use of verb phrase pay back Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper