1

pay

play
verb \ˈpā\

Definition of pay

paid

play \ˈpād\ also in sense 7

payed

;

paying

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to make due return to for services rendered or property delivered <paid the pizza deliverer>b :  to engage for money :  hire <You couldn't pay me to do that.> <paid a teenager to mow his lawn>

  3. 2a :  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) <paid a few dollars weekly into a savings account>

  4. 3 :  to give or forfeit in expiation or retribution <pay the penalty>

  5. 4a :  to make compensation (see compensation 2) for <His trouble was well paid in the end.>b :  to requite according to what is deserved <pay them back>

  6. 5 :  to give, offer, or make freely or as fitting <pay attention> <pay your respects>

  7. 6a :  to return value or profit to <it pays you to stay open>b :  to bring in as a return <an investment paying five percent>

  8. 7 :  to slacken (as a rope) and allow to run out —used with out <paid out the rope as it jerked taut>

  9. intransitive verb
  10. 1 :  to discharge a debt or obligation <I'll pay when I have the money.>

  11. 2 :  to be worth the expense or effort <crime doesn't pay>

  12. 3 :  to suffer the consequences of an act <He paid for his crime.>

pay one's dues

  1. 1 :  to earn a right or position through experience, suffering, or hard work <He's paid his dues and deserves a promotion.>

  2. 2 or less commonly pay dues :  pay vi vi 3

pay one's way

or

pay one's own way

  1. :  to pay one's share of expenses <She took a part-time job to pay her own way through college.>

pay the piper

  1. :  to bear the cost of something <You have to do what they say because they are paying the piper.>

pay through the nose

  1. :  to pay exorbitantly or dearly <I found the perfect dress, but I had to pay through the nose for it.>

Origin and Etymology 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, 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>.

2

pay

noun

Definition of pay

  1. 1 :  something paid for a purpose and especially as a salary or wage :  remuneration

  2. 2a :  the act or fact of paying or being paidb :  the status of being paid by an employer :  employ

  3. 3 :  a person viewed with respect to reliability or promptness in paying debts or bills

  4. 4a :  ore or a natural deposit that yields metal and especially gold in profitable amountsb :  an oil-yielding stratum or zone

Examples of pay in a sentence

  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.

Origin and Etymology of pay

see 1pay


First Known Use: 14th century


3

pay

adjective

Definition of pay

  1. 1 :  containing or leading to something precious or valuable

  2. 2 :  equipped with a coin slot for receiving a fee for use <a pay telephone>

  3. 3 :  requiring payment

Origin and Etymology of pay

see 1pay


First Known Use: 1856


4

pay

verb

Definition of pay

payed

also

paid

;

paying

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to coat with a waterproof composition

Origin and Etymology of pay

obsolete French peier, from Latin picare, from pic-, pix pitch — more at pitch


First Known Use: 1610



PAY Defined for English Language Learners


2

pay

noun

Definition of pay for English Language Learners

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


PAY Defined for Kids

1

pay

play
verb \ˈpā\

Definition of pay for Students

paid

\ˈpād\

paying

  1. 1 :  to give (as money) in return for services received or for something bought <Pay the taxi driver.> <I paid for a ticket.>

  2. 2 :  to give money for (something owed) <I have to pay the rent.>

  3. 3 :  to get even with <She wants to pay them back for the insult.>

  4. 4 :  to give or offer freely <pay a compliment> <pay attention>

  5. 5 :  to have a worthwhile result :  be worth the effort or pains required <It pays to drive carefully.>

payer

noun

pay off

  1. 1 :  to give all of what is owed <It felt good to pay off a debt.>

  2. 2 :  to have a good result <Hours of practice paid off in a successful show.>

pay up

  1. :  to pay in full especially debts that are due


2

pay

play
noun

Definition of pay for Students

  1. 1 :  the act of giving money for something bought or used or for what is owed :  payment

  2. 2 :  salary <My mother got an increase in pay.>



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