- to pay (someone) everything that is due that person, especially to do so and discharge from one's employ.
- to pay (a debt) in full.
- Informal. to bribe.
- to retaliate upon or punish; pay back.
- to result in success or failure: The risk paid off handsomely.
- Nautical. to fall off to leeward.
Origin of payoff
Words nearby payoff
How to use payoff in a sentence
That could triple the financial payoff for shareholders, including Burry, whose investment firm owned 2 million shares.The GameStop stock craze is about a populist uprising against Wall Street. But it’s more complicated than that.|David J. Lynch|February 1, 2021|Washington Post
With that profile as backdrop, the few advertisers already on the app are now hoping the work they’re doing now leads to a big payoff down the line.‘Not a place for takeovers’: Pepsi amps up Triller marketing plans|Seb Joseph|January 12, 2021|Digiday
The companies asking for body photographs and videos think the payoff is worth the exposure.For Amazon’s $25 custom T-shirt, your body is a wonderland (of data)|Heather Kelly|January 5, 2021|Washington Post
Now, however, opting into one of those services provides random companies with a lot more information than they need about you for almost no payoff.
These areas of open ocean beyond the territorial jurisdiction of any nation are generally considered high-effort, low-payoff fishing grounds, yet fishers continue to work in them anyway.AI and satellite data find thousands of fishing boats that could be using forced labor|Gavin McDonald|December 21, 2020|Quartz
Critics accused Foster of giving Duke a payoff to stay out of the race; that was never proven.
If we enter with science and respect, the payoff will last generations.
They liked the way [the alternate ending] made the audience feel rather than just having a big payoff.Scott Haze on Playing a Necrophiliac in ‘Child of God’ and Naked Paintballing with James Franco|Melissa Leon|August 3, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The risk of being wrong was small, but the potential payoff for being right was amazingly high.
He wants “more than a handout, a payoff, hush money, or a reluctant bribe.”America Is Coming to Terms with Its Racial Past—Let’s Look Ahead Instead|John McWhorter|May 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
De Quille had not missed the opportunity of his comrade's absence to payoff some old scores.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete|Albert Bigelow Paine
A cosmic pitch like this could bring a galactic payoff, whatever it might be.At the Post|Horace Leonard Gold
"Now it's all over but the payoff," thought Jerry, waiting for Mr. Bartlett to make out the grocery slip.Jerry's Charge Account|Hazel Hutchins Wilson
And frequently no one suspects the direction the payoff finally takes.
It puts a premium not on salesmanship, but on what it needs most—intellectual production, the research payoff.
British Dictionary definitions for payoff
Other Idioms and Phrases with payoff
Pay the full amount on a debt or on wages, as in The car's finally paid off, or Les pays off the workers every Friday evening. [Early 1700s]
Produce a profit, as in That gamble did not pay off. [Mid-1900s]
Also, pay off an old score. Get revenge on someone for some grievance, require, as in Jerry was satisfied; he'd paid off his ex-partner when he bought him out at half-price, or Amy went out with her roommate's boyfriend, but she was paying off and old score.
Bribe, as in The owner of the bar paid off the local police so he wouldn't get in trouble for serving liquor to minors. [Colloquial; c. 1900]