pay·​mas·​ter | \ ˈpā-ˌma-stər How to pronounce paymaster (audio) \

Definition of paymaster

: an officer or agent whose duty it is to pay salaries or wages

Examples of paymaster in a Sentence

She worked as the company's paymaster for 22 years.
Recent Examples on the Web DeLong had been in the job for one month when, on February 19, two Confederate rebels, the Sumter’s paymaster, Henry Myers, and Thomas Tunstall, the former U.S. Consul to Cadiz, Spain, arrived in Morocco on a French ship en route to Cadiz. Graham Cornwell, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Diplomatic Intrigue That Gave Morocco a Cameo Appearance in the U.S. Civil War," 21 Jan. 2020 Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden, 41, already attended Cabinet in his role as paymaster general, but now becomes a full member as Culture Secretary. Alex Morales,, "The New Faces in Boris Johnson’s Cabinet After His Dramatic Reshuffle," 29 Apr. 2020 During the Civil War, Meeker served as a paymaster on a US Navy gunboat in Louisiana and sketched the swamps in his spare time. Zachary Fine, The New York Review of Books, "Swampland Sublime: The Landscapes of Louisiana," 8 Feb. 2020 In Iraq, Shiite protesters, angry with Shiite leaders and their Tehran paymasters, have repeatedly torched the Iranian consulates in Karbala and Najaf—cities hosting Shiite holy sites. Benny Avni, WSJ, "Arab Protesters Turn Away From the Tribe and Toward Nationalism," 27 Jan. 2020 His paymasters tend to be defence lawyers, the federal public defender, or European donors eager to expose America’s misuse of its death penalty. The Economist, "The sleuth of death row What does it take to become a death-row detective?," 18 Dec. 2019 Which turns the Silicon Valley experience on its head, with the Defense Department switching from paymaster to apprentice. Greg Jefferson,, "Air Force tech startup turns Silicon Valley history on its head," 13 Dec. 2019 While that should be straightforward, mistrust is running high, and Del Vecchio is a difficult paymaster. Washington Post, "The Ray-Ban Billionaire Doesn’t Like to Share," 29 Mar. 2019 For decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan’s leaders have tried to juggle relationships with the West along with ties to their old paymasters in Moscow. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "A Spy Case Exposes China’s Power Play in Central Asia," 10 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'paymaster.' 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 paymaster

1537, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of paymaster was in 1537

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Cite this Entry

“Paymaster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for paymaster



English Language Learners Definition of paymaster

: a person whose job is paying salaries or wages
usually disapproving : a person, country, etc., that pays people and controls their actions

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