Pay meaning

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.

verb
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To give money to in return for goods or services rendered.

Pay the cashier.

verb
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To give (money) in exchange for goods or services.

Paid four dollars for a hamburger; paid an hourly wage.

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To discharge or settle (a debt or obligation).

Paying taxes; paid the bill.

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To bear (a cost or penalty, for example) in recompense.

She paid the price for her unpopular opinions.

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To yield as a return.

A savings plan that paid six percent interest.

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To afford an advantage to; profit.

It paid us to be generous.

verb
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To give or bestow.

Paying compliments; paying attention.

verb
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To make (a visit or call).
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To let out (a line or cable) by slackening.
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To give money in exchange for goods or services.
verb
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To discharge a debt or obligation.
verb
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To bear a cost or penalty in recompense.

You'll pay for this mischief!

verb
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To be profitable or worthwhile.

It doesn't pay to get angry.

verb
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Of, relating to, giving, or receiving payments.
adjective
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Requiring payment to use or operate.

A pay toilet.

adjective
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Yielding valuable metal in mining.

A pay streak.

adjective
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The act of paying or state of being paid.
noun
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Money given in return for work done; salary; wages.
noun
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Paid employment.

The workers in our pay.

noun
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A person considered with regard to his or her credit or reliability in discharging debts.
noun
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To coat or cover (seams of a ship, for example) with waterproof material such as tar or asphalt.
verb
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To give to (a person) what is due, as for goods received, services rendered, etc.; remunerate; recompense.
verb
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To give (what is due or owed) in return, as for goods or services.
verb
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To make a deposit or transfer of (money)

Paid $50 into the credit union.

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To discharge or settle (a debt, obligation, expenses, etc.) by giving something in return.
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To yield as a recompense or return.

A job that pays $90

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To be worthwhile or profitable to.

It will pay him to listen.

verb
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To give due compensation; make payment.
verb
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To be profitable or worthwhile.
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To yield return or compensation as specified.

A stock that pays poorly.

verb
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A paying or being paid; payment.
noun
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Money paid, esp. for work or services; wages or salary.
noun
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Anything, good or bad, given or done in return.
noun
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A person regarded as a credit risk.
noun
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Rich enough in minerals, ore, etc. to make mining profitable.

Pay gravel.

adjective
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Operated or made available by depositing coins, submitting credit cards, etc.

A pay telephone, pay toilet.

adjective
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Designating a service, facility, etc. paid for by subscription, fees, etc.

Pay TV.

adjective
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To coat as with pitch in order to make waterproof.

To pay the seams of a wooden ship.

verb
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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.

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(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.

verb
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To be profitable for.

It didn't pay him to keep the store open any more.

verb
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To give (something else than money).

To pay attention.

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(intransitive) To be profitable or worth the effort.

Crime doesn't pay; it will pay to wait.

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(intransitive) To discharge an obligation or debt.

He was allowed to go as soon as he paid.

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(intransitive) To suffer consequences.

He paid for his fun in the sun with a terrible sunburn.

verb
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Money given in return for work; salary or wages.

Many employers have rules designed to keep employees from comparing their pays.

noun
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Operable or accessible on deposit of coins.

Pay toilet.

adjective
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Pertaining to or requiring payment.
adjective
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(nautical) To cover (the bottom of a vessel, a seam, a spar, etc.) with tar or pitch, or a waterproof composition of tallow, resin, etc.; to smear.
verb
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pay (one's) dues
  • To earn a given right or position through hard work, long-term experience, or suffering:.
    She paid her dues in small-town theaters before being cast in a Broadway play.
idiom
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pay (one's) way
  • To contribute one's own share; pay for oneself.
idiom
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pay the piper
  • To bear the consequences of something.
idiom
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pay through the nose
  • To pay excessively.
idiom
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in the pay of
  • Employed and paid by.
idiom
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pay as you go
  • To pay expenses as they arise.
idiom
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pay back
  • To repay.
  • To retaliate upon.
idiom
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pay down
  • To pay (a sum of money) as a down payment, with the balance to be paid later.
  • To reduce (a debt) over a period of time.
idiom
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pay for
  • To suffer or undergo punishment because of.
  • To atone or make amends for.
idiom
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pay off
  • 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.
  • To bring about a desired result; succeed.
  • To swing or allow to swing away from the wind.
idiom
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pay someone's way
  • To pay someone's share of the expenses.
idiom
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pay out
  • To give out (money, etc.); expend.
  • To let out (a rope, cable, etc.) gradually.
idiom
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pay up
  • To pay in full or on time.
idiom
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with pay
  • With wages or salary included.
    A two-week vacation with pay.
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Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

Origin of pay

  • Middle English paien from Old French paiier from Late Latin pācāre to appease from Latin to pacify, subdue from pāx pāc- peace pag- in Indo-European roots
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Obsolete French peier from Old French from Latin picāre from pix pic- pitch
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • 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 Ä¡ieldan (“to pay")), Middle English schotten (“to pay, make payment") (from Old English scot, Ä¡escot (“payment")).
    From Wiktionary
  • Old French peier, from Latin picare (“to pitch").
    From Wiktionary