Definition of payola
: undercover or indirect payment (as to a disc jockey) for a commercial favor (as for promoting a particular recording)
Examples of payola in a Sentence
These radio disc jockeys accepted payola to play particular songs.
payola in the music industry
Recent Examples of payola from the Web
Freed, who battled alcoholism for years, died in 1965 at age 43, shortly after his career was destroyed in the payola scandal, a system of bribery that had record companies paying DJs to play their records.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'payola'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of payola
1pay + -ola (as in Pianola, trademark for a player piano)
First Known Use: 1938See Words from the same year
PAYOLA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of payola for English Language Learners
: money that is paid to someone for illegally helping to sell or advertise a product
: the illegal practice of giving or receiving payola
Legal Definition of payola
: a secret or indirect payment (as to a disc jockey) for a commercial favor (as for promoting a particular record)
Seen and Heard
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