[ pey ]
/ peɪ /
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verb (used with object), paid or ( Obsolete except for def. 12 ) payed, pay·ing.
to settle (a debt, obligation, etc.), as by transferring money or goods, or by doing something: Please pay your bill.
to give over (a certain amount of money) in exchange for something: He paid twenty dollars for the shirt.
to transfer money as compensation or recompense for work done or services rendered; to satisfy the claims of (a person, organization, etc.), as by giving money due: He paid me for my work.
to defray (cost or expense).
to give compensation for.
to yield a recompense or return to; be profitable to: Your training will pay you well in the future.
to yield as a return: The stock paid six percent last year.
to requite, as for good, harm, or an offense: How can I pay her for her kindness and generosity?
to give or render (attention, respects, compliments, etc.), as if due or fitting.
to make (a call, visit, etc.).
to suffer in retribution: You'll pay the penalty for your stubbornness!
Nautical. to let (a ship) fall off to leeward.
verb (used without object), paid,pay·ing.
to transfer money, goods, etc., as in making a purchase or settling a debt.
to discharge a debt or obligation.
to yield a return, profit, or advantage; be worthwhile: It pays to be courteous.
to give compensation, as for damage or loss sustained.
to suffer or be punished for something; atone: The murderer paid with his life.
the act of paying or being paid; payment.
wages, salary, or a stipend.
a person with reference to solvency or reputation for meeting obligations: The bank regards him as good pay.
paid employment: One of the army officers was actually in the pay of the enemy.
reward or punishment; requital.
a rock stratum from which petroleum is obtained.
requiring subscribed or monthly payment for use or service: With pay TV, you can watch hit movies from the comfort of your own home.
operable or accessible on deposit of a coin or coins: Do you have any change for the pay toilet?
of or relating to payment.
Verb Phrases past and past participle paid,present participle pay·ing.
pay back. See entry at payback.
- to pay (part of the total price) at the time of purchase, with the promise to pay the balance in installments: On this plan you pay only ten percent down.
- to pay off or back; amortize: The company's debt is being paid down rapidly.
OTHER WORDS FOR pay
19 remuneration, emolument, fee, honorarium, income, allowance.
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…
Idioms about pay
- to pay for (goods, services, etc.) at the time of purchase, as opposed to buying on credit.
- to spend no more than income permits; keep out of debt.
- to pay income tax by regular deductions from one's salary or wages.
pay as you go,
pay it forward, to express gratitude for kindness or good fortune by doing good for someone else:People were very helpful to us, so we want to pay it forward to other entrepreneurs just starting out.
- to pay one's portion of shared expenses.
- to yield a return on one's investment sufficient to repay one's expenses: It will take time for the restaurant to begin paying its way.
pay one's / its way,
Origin of pay1
First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English paien, payen, from Old French paier, paiier, from Medieval Latin pācāre “to satisfy, settle (a debt),” Latin: “to impose a settlement on”; cf. peace
synonym study for pay
19. Pay, wage or wages, salary, stipend are terms for amounts of money or equivalent benefits, usually given at a regular rate or at regular intervals, in return for services. Pay is the general term: His pay went up every year. Wage usually designates the pay given at an hourly, daily, or weekly rate, often for manual or semiskilled work; wages usually means the cumulative amount paid at regular intervals for such work: an hourly wage; weekly wages. Salary designates a fixed, periodic payment for regular work or services, usually computed on a monthly or yearly basis: an annual salary paid in twelve equal monthly installments. Stipend designates a periodic payment, either as a professional salary or, more commonly, as a salary in return for special services or as a grant in support of creative or scholarly work: an annual stipend for work as a consultant; a stipend to cover living expenses.
Other definitions for pay (2 of 2)
[ pey ]
/ peɪ /
verb (used with object), payed, pay·ing.Nautical.
to coat or cover (seams, a ship's bottom, etc.) with pitch, tar, or the like.
Origin of pay2
First recorded in 1610–20; from Middle French poier, Old French peier, from Latin picāre “to smear with pitch,” derivative of pix (stem pic- ) pitch2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use pay in a sentence
We payed for DirecTV for years and DH always had to buy the NFL Sunday ticket.Meltdown on the Message Boards|The Daily Beast|October 10, 2008|DAILY BEAST
Pike payed out the hawser, the coxswain eased off the spring; away went the boat, and next moment Pike had Stanley by the hair.The Floating Light of the Goodwin Sands|R.M. Ballantyne
He payed off all he owed, and so Cree's life was not, I think, a failure.Auld Licht Idylls|J. M. Barrie
The Doctor has waited for you these three hours, and will be payed by you or that gentleman before you go!
Those on board payed out the line until the spar floated abreast of the smack, but at a distance of some thirty yards away.A Chapter of Adventures|G. A. Henty
One man shipped the oars and pulled to the eastward, while the other hove the trawl-buoy over and payed out the anchor line.The Viking Blood|Frederick William Wallace
British Dictionary definitions for pay (1 of 2)
/ (peɪ) /
verb pays, paying or paid
to discharge (a debt, obligation, etc) by giving or doing somethinghe paid his creditors
(when intr, often foll by for) to give (money) to (a person) in return for goods or servicesthey pay their workers well; they pay by the hour
to give or afford (a person) a profit or benefitit pays one to be honest
(tr) to give or bestow (a compliment, regards, attention, etc)
(tr) to make (a visit or call)
(intr often foll by for) to give compensation or make amends
(tr) to yield a return ofthe shares pay 15 per cent
to give or do (something equivalent) in return; pay backhe paid for the insult with a blow
(tr; past tense and past participle paid or payed) nautical to allow (a vessel) to make leeway
Australian informal to acknowledge or accept (something) as true, just, etc
pay one's way
- to contribute one's share of expenses
- to remain solvent without outside help
- money given in return for work or services; a salary or wage
- (as modifier)a pay slip; pay claim
paid employment (esp in the phrase in the pay of)
(modifier) requiring the insertion of money or discs before or during usea pay phone; a pay toilet
(modifier) rich enough in minerals to be profitably mined or workedpay gravel
Word Origin for pay
C12: from Old French payer, from Latin pācāre to appease (a creditor), from pāx peace
British Dictionary definitions for pay (2 of 2)
/ (peɪ) /
verb pays, paying or payed
(tr) nautical to caulk (the seams of a wooden vessel) with pitch or tar
Word Origin for pay
C17: from Old French peier, from Latin picāre, from pix pitch
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with pay
In addition to the idioms beginning with pay
- pay a call
- pay a compliment
- pay as you go
- pay attention
- pay a visit
- pay back
- pay court to
- pay dirt, hit
- pay for
- pay off
- pay one's dues
- pay one's respects
- pay one's way
- pay out
- pay the piper
- pay through the nose
- pay up
- pay your money and take your choice
- (pay the piper) call the tune
- crime does not pay
- devil to pay
- hell to pay
- lip service, pay
- rob Peter to pay Paul
- you get what you pay for
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.