pay·​back | \ ˈpā-ˌbak How to pronounce payback (audio) \

Definition of payback

2 : a return on an investment equal to the original capital outlay also : the period of time elapsed before an investment is recouped

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Examples of payback in a Sentence

They beat our team last year, so we've got to beat them this year as payback. we are hoping to get payback for the humiliating defeat we suffered at the hands of our rivals during our last matchup
Recent Examples on the Web That means banks extend the payback terms of a loan, and then pretend (for both regulatory and portfolio-valuation purposes) that all is well with the loan. Michael Taylor,, "Taylor: Stock market and credit scores not reflecting U.S. economic woes. So are we the Coyote or the Road Runner?," 26 Aug. 2020 Metroparks estimated in its federal grant application that the TIGER project would generate benefits worth at least $54.5 million for health, safety, recreation and mobility, a payback ratio of 3.3 to one. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Cleveland Metroparks’ TIGER Trails will provide seamless, car-free connectivity to regional parks, trails, waterfronts," 23 Aug. 2020 As payback, Brenda made Dawn take out her retainer and show her missing teeth for a national television audience. Dalton Ross,, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Dawn Meehan talks about her breakdown after playing the game," 14 Aug. 2020 Trump also suggested that Russian backing for the Taliban would be a kind of understandable payback for America’s backing of fighters opposing the Soviet occupation of that country during the 1980s. Michael Crowley, Star Tribune, "Trump did not ask Putin about bounties on U.S. troops in Afghanistan, he says," 29 July 2020 Harris also saw Biden’s pick as a sort of payback for having been selected by Barack Obama to be vice president. Kristina Davis, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Kamala Harris pick was met with local excitement, scorn, uncertainty," 11 Aug. 2020 Perhaps a sense of payback helped move Donald Trump to dump the AFFH rule that Obama put in place. Clarence Page Chicago Tribune (tns), Star Tribune, "Trump's cynical, fear peddling, save-the-suburbs gambit won't work — I think," 3 Aug. 2020 Rodgers exacted some payback for five years ago, when the Packers blew a 16-0 halftime lead in the NFC championship game at Seattle and lost 28-22 in overtime. Dave Campbell, The Denver Post, "Packers hold off Seahawks to reach NFC championship game," 12 Jan. 2020 Dodgers fans in particular were eager for payback heading into Tuesday’s game between the Dodgers and Astros in Houston. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly a hero in Los Angeles and baseball world after Astros payback," 31 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'payback.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of payback

1718, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for payback

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The first known use of payback was in 1718

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Last Updated

8 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Payback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce payback (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of payback

: punishment for something that was done in the past
: an amount of money that you receive after investing in something and that is equal to or greater than the amount of money that you originally invested
: the amount of time that passes before invested money is returned or before money that is owed is paid

More from Merriam-Webster on payback

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Nglish: Translation of payback for Spanish Speakers

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