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payoff

[ pey-awf, -of ]
/ ˈpeɪˌɔf, -ˌɒf /
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noun
adjective
yielding results, especially rewarding or decisive results:The payoff play was the long pass into the end zone.
verb phrase pay off [pey-awf, of] /ˈpeɪ ˈɔf, ˈɒf/ .
  1. to pay (someone) everything that is due that person, especially to do so and discharge from one's employ.
  2. to pay (a debt) in full.
  3. Informal. to bribe.
  4. to retaliate upon or punish; pay back.
  5. to result in success or failure: The risk paid off handsomely.
  6. Nautical. to fall off to leeward.
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Origin of payoff

First recorded in 1910–15; noun, adjective use of verb phrase pay off
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use payoff in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for payoff

pay off

verb
noun payoff
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 payoff

pay off

1

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]

2

Produce a profit, as in That gamble did not pay off. [Mid-1900s]

3

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.

4

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]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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