- To pay is defined as to give someone what is due, usually money, for goods or services.
An example of to pay is giving money to a server at a restaurant for a meal.
A woman pays for her lunch at a restaurant.
transitive verbpaid or Obsoletepayed, paying
- to give to (a person) what is due, as for goods received, services rendered, etc.; remunerate; recompense
- to give (what is due or owed) in return, as for goods or services
- to make a deposit or transfer of (money): paid $50 into the credit union
- to discharge or settle (a debt, obligation, expenses, etc.) by giving something in return
- to give or offer (a compliment, respects, attention, etc.)
- to make (a visit, call, etc.)
- to yield as a recompense or return: a job that pays $90
- to be worthwhile or profitable to: it will pay him to listen
Origin of payMiddle English paien, to pay, satisfy ; from Old French paier ; from Classical Latin pacare, to pacify ; from pax, peace
- to give due compensation; make payment
- to be profitable or worthwhile
- to yield return or compensation as specified: a stock that pays poorly
- a paying or being paid; payment
- money paid, esp. for work or services; wages or salary
- anything, good or bad, given or done in return
- Now Rare a person regarded as a credit risk
- rich enough in minerals, ore, etc. to make mining profitable: pay gravel
- operated or made available by depositing coins, submitting credit cards, etc.: a pay telephone, pay toilet
- designating a service, facility, etc. paid for by subscription, fees, etc.: pay TV
in the pay of
pay as you go☆
- to repay
- to retaliate upon
- to pay in cash
- to pay (part of the purchase price) at the time of purchase: used in installment buying
- to suffer or undergo punishment because of
- to atone or make amends for
- to pay all that is owed on (a debt, etc.) or to (a person, as in discharging from employment)
- to take revenge on (a wrongdoer) or for (a wrong done)
- to yield full recompense or return, for either good or evil
- Informal to bring about a desired result; succeed
- Naut. to swing or allow to swing away from the wind: said of the bow of a vessel
pay someone's way
- to give out (money, etc.); expend
- to let out (a rope, cable, etc.) gradually
verbpaid paid , pay·ing, pays
- To give money to in return for goods or services rendered: pay the cashier.
- To give (money) in exchange for goods or services: paid four dollars for a hamburger; paid an hourly wage.
- To discharge or settle (a debt or obligation): paying taxes; paid the bill.
- To bear (a cost or penalty, for example) in recompense: She paid the price for her unpopular opinions.
- To yield as a return: a savings plan that paid six percent interest.
- To afford an advantage to; profit: It paid us to be generous.
- To give or bestow: paying compliments; paying attention.
- To make (a visit or call).
- Past tense and past participle paid paid or payed To let out (a line or cable) by slackening.
- To give money in exchange for goods or services.
- To discharge a debt or obligation.
- To bear a cost or penalty in recompense: You'll pay for this mischief!
- To be profitable or worthwhile: It doesn't pay to get angry.
- Of, relating to, giving, or receiving payments.
- Requiring payment to use or operate: a pay toilet.
- Yielding valuable metal in mining: a pay streak.
- The act of paying or state of being paid.
- Money given in return for work done; salary; wages.
- a. Recompense or reward: Your thanks are pay enough.b. Retribution or punishment.
- Paid employment: the workers in our pay.
- A person considered with regard to his or her credit or reliability in discharging debts.
Origin of payMiddle English paien, from Old French paiier, from Late Latin pācāre, to appease, from Latin, to pacify, subdue, from pāx, pāc-, peace; see pag- in Indo-European roots.
transitive verbpayed payed or paid , pay·ing, pays
Origin of payObsolete French peier, from Old French, from Latin picāre, from pix, pic-, pitch.
(third-person singular simple present pays, present participle paying, simple past and past participle paid or payed)
- To give money or other compensation to in exchange for goods or services.
- he paid him to clean the place up; he paid her off the books and in kind where possible
- (intransitive) To discharge, as a debt or other obligation, by giving or doing what is due or required.
- she offered to pay the bill; he has paid his debt to society
- To be profitable for.
- It didn't pay him to keep the store open any more.
- To give (something else than money).
- to pay attention
- (intransitive) To be profitable or worth the effort.
- crime doesn’t pay; it will pay to wait
- (intransitive) To discharge an obligation or debt.
- He was allowed to go as soon as he paid.
- (intransitive) To suffer consequences.
- He paid for his fun in the sun with a terrible sunburn.
- Operable or accessible on deposit of coins.
- pay toilet
- Pertaining to or requiring payment.
From Middle English payen, from Old French paier, from Medieval Latin pācāre (“to settle, satisfy”) from Latin pacare (“to pacify”). Displaced native Middle English yelden, yielden (“to pay”) (from Old English ġieldan (“to pay”)), Middle English schotten (“to pay, make payment”) (from Old English scot, ġescot (“payment”)).
(third-person singular simple present pays, present participle paying, simple past and past participle payed)