verb \ˈpā\
paid \ˈpād\ also in sense 7 payedpay·ing

Definition of PAY

transitive verb
a :  to make due return to for services rendered or property delivered
b :  to engage for money :  hire <you couldn't pay me to do that>
a :  to give in return for goods or service <pay wages>
b :  to discharge indebtedness for :  settle <pay a bill>
c :  to make a disposal or transfer of (money)
:  to give or forfeit in expiation or retribution <pay the penalty>
a :  to make compensation for
b :  to requite according to what is deserved <pay them back>
:  to give, offer, or make freely or as fitting <pay attention> <pay your respects>
a :  to return value or profit to <it pays you to stay open>
b :  to bring in as a return <an investment paying five percent>
:  to slacken (as a rope) and allow to run out —used with out
intransitive verb
:  to discharge a debt or obligation
:  to be worth the expense or effort <crime doesn't pay>
:  to suffer the consequences of an act
pay one's dues
:  to earn a right or position through experience, suffering, or hard work
also pay dues :  pay vi vi 3
pay one's way or pay one's own way
:  to pay one's share of expenses
pay the piper
:  to bear the cost of something
pay through the nose
:  to pay exorbitantly or dearly

Origin of PAY

Middle English, from Anglo-French paier, from Latin pacare to pacify, from pac-, pax peace
First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of PAY

pay, compensate, remunerate, satisfy, reimburse, indemnify, repay, recompense mean to give money or its equivalent in return for something. pay implies the discharge of an obligation incurred <paid their bills>. compensate implies a making up for services rendered <an attorney well compensated for her services>. remunerate clearly suggests paying for services rendered and may extend to payment that is generous or not contracted for <promised to remunerate the searchers handsomely>. satisfy implies paying a person what is required by law <all creditors will be satisfied in full>. reimburse implies a return of money that has been spent for another's benefit <reimbursed employees for expenses>. indemnify implies making good a loss suffered through accident, disaster, or warfare <indemnified the families of the dead miners>. repay stresses paying back an equivalent in kind or amount <repay a favor with a favor>. recompense suggests due return in amends, friendly repayment, or reward <passengers were recompensed for the delay>.



: money received in exchange for work : money paid to someone for doing work

Full Definition of PAY

:  something paid for a purpose and especially as a salary or wage :  remuneration
a :  the act or fact of paying or being paid
b :  the status of being paid by an employer :  employ
:  a person viewed with respect to reliability or promptness in paying debts or bills
a :  ore or a natural deposit that yields metal and especially gold in profitable amounts
b :  an oil-yielding stratum or zone

Examples of PAY

  1. He has been suspended without pay pending the results of the investigation.
  2. Each pay period begins on the first of the month.
  3. Workers received a $4,000 pay increase.
  4. I took a significant pay cut when I took this job, but I think it was worth it.

First Known Use of PAY

14th century

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite



Definition of PAY

:  containing or leading to something precious or valuable
:  equipped with a coin slot for receiving a fee for use <a pay telephone>
:  requiring payment

First Known Use of PAY


Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite


payed also paidpay·ing

Definition of PAY

transitive verb
:  to coat with a waterproof composition

Origin of PAY

obsolete French peier, from Latin picare, from pic-, pix pitch — more at pitch
First Known Use: 1610


Next Word in the Dictionary: PayaPrevious Word in the Dictionary: paxwaxAll Words Near: pay
March 01, 2015
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Tube-shaped pasta or a fop or dandy
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