pay·​ee | \ (ˌ)pā-ˈē How to pronounce payee (audio) \

Definition of payee

: one to whom money is or is to be paid The payee must endorse the back of the check.

Examples of payee in a Sentence

The payee must endorse the back of the check.
Recent Examples on the Web There are now more than a dozen payee businesses operating statewide. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Federal crackdown threatens businesses that manage money for hundreds of disabled Alaskans," 14 Nov. 2019 In total, there were 429 checks paid to fictitious employees, which all bear forged payee endorsements directing payments to Ruelas or his wife. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "He pretended to be his brother to get a job. Then he embezzled $184,000, police say.," 1 Nov. 2019 Mazei then wrote her own name as payee of the transactions and deposited them in her personal accounts. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Former Kalamazoo Diocese employee accused of scamming immigrants," 23 Aug. 2019 An employee of a business in the 1900 block of Lehigh Avenue reported August 21 that someone altered a company check changing the payee and cashed the check. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Customer threatened to shoot up Gleview business: Police," 3 Sep. 2019 The payee is listed as Horizon Distributors, Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "Trump golf cart rentals are costing taxpayers another $78,000," 6 Aug. 2019 Divorce specialists say that in many cases, the overhaul’s changes to alimony will be negative for both members of the couple because the payer and the payee often are in very different tax brackets. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: Alimony Payments," 15 Feb. 2019 But Etienne kept the Social Security train rolling until 2016 by signing payee accounting records that the money was being used for their food, clothing, shelter and medical needs. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "She paid for her BMW with her grandparents' Social Security checks. They were dead. | Miami Herald," 11 Apr. 2018 Four days later, my mailbox held a thin cardboard flat-rate package with nothing inside but a startlingly realistic check with my name typed on the payee line. Matthew Kauffman,, "I Trolled An Internet Scammer For Two Weeks. Here's What I Learned.," 29 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of payee

1758, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about payee

Time Traveler for payee

Time Traveler

The first known use of payee was in 1758

See more words from the same year

Statistics for payee

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Payee.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for payee



Financial Definition of payee

What It Is

The term "payee" refers to an individual or entity that will receive a payment. It can also be referred to as the beneficiary in situations that pertain to a benefactor.

How It Works

There are a number of examples of payees. A payee is the person to whom a check, promissory note, draft or bill is written out. A payee may also be the one who holds the coupons of a bond.

An example of a payee in a check is one whose name appears in the caption "Pay to the Order of" on most checks.

Why It Matters

The payee is the one with legal rights to a payment. It is therefore essential to decipher who the individual or entity is that is to receive payment in any financial transaction. In any contract of a financial transaction where it is unclear who the payee and payer are, the contract may be invalid or there may be provisions within the law about how to determine rights in such situations.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce payee (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of payee

technical : a person or organization that receives money : a person or organization that is paid


pay·​ee | \ ˌpā-ˈē How to pronounce payee (audio) \

Legal Definition of payee

: a person to whom money is to be or has been paid specifically : the person named in a bill of exchange, note, or check as the one to whom the amount is directed to be paid — compare drawee, drawer

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on payee

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with payee

Spanish Central: Translation of payee

Nglish: Translation of payee for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of payee for Arabic Speakers

Comments on payee

What made you want to look up payee? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!