1

payoff

noun pay·off \ ˈpā-ˌȯf \
|Updated on: 20 Jun 2018

Definition of payoff

2 : the act or occasion of receiving money or material gain especially as compensation or as a bribe
3 : the climax of an incident or enterprise; specifically : the denouement of a narrative
4 : a decisive fact or factor resolving a situation or bringing about a definitive conclusion

Examples of payoff in a Sentence

  1. You'll have to work hard but there'll be a big payoff in the end.

  2. We expected more of a payoff for all our hard work.

  3. We made a lot of sacrifices with little payoff.

  4. Several city officials have been accused of receiving payoffs from the company.

  5. He lost his factory job but received a payoff and a pension.

Recent Examples of payoff from the Web

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

First Known Use of payoff

1905

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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2

payoff

adjective

Definition of payoff

: yielding results in the final test : decisive

First Known Use of payoff

1932

in the meaning defined above

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pay off

verb

Definition of pay off

1 a : to pay (a debt or a creditor) in full
b : to give all due wages to; especially : to pay in full and discharge (an employee)
c : bribe
2 : to inflict retribution on
3 : to allow (a thread or rope) to run off a spool or drum
: to yield returns

Examples of pay off in a Sentence

  1. I finally paid off the loan.

  2. she paid off the security guard so that she could steal whatever she liked

Recent Examples of pay off from the Web

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

First Known Use of pay off

1607

in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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PAYOFF Defined for English Language Learners

payoff

Definition of payoff for English Language Learners

  • : a good result : the advantage or benefit that is gained from doing something

  • : something valuable (such as money) that you give to someone for doing something and especially for doing something illegal or dishonest

  • : money that a company gives to a worker who is being forced to leave a job


Law Dictionary

payoff

noun pay·off \ ˈpā-ˌȯf \

legal Definition of payoff

1 : the act or an instance of paying someone off : bribe — compare kickback
2 : the act of paying a debt or creditor in full
  • would release the lien upon the payoff of the balance

pay off

transitive verb

legal Definition of pay off

1 : to pay (a debt or credit) in full
  • the loan was paid off
2 : bribe


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