pre·​pay | \(ˌ)prē-ˈpā \
prepaid\(ˌ)prē-​ˈpād \; prepaying

Definition of prepay 

transitive verb

: to pay or pay the charge on in advance

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Other Words from prepay

prepayment \(ˌ)prē-​ˈpā-​mənt \ noun

Examples of prepay in a Sentence

Special orders must be prepaid.

Recent Examples on the Web

Middle-schoolers had prepaid $232,505, or $455 each for the three-day trip. James Ewinger,, "Schools want answers, refunds after Discovery Tours cancellations," 3 May 2018 MetroPCS, T-Mobile’s prepaid phone brand, is remaking its image in an attempt to appeal to more people. Rachel Lerman, The Seattle Times, "T-Mobile rebrands prepaid line to emphasize network coverage," 24 Sep. 2018 For mothers whose jobs require domestic travel, the start-up Milk Stork offers prepaid overnight shipping and pharmaceutical-grade coolers to send breast milk home from the road. Jenna Sauers, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Women Really Quit Breastfeeding," 17 July 2018 The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ordered Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant in Toronto’s Chinatown to pay the sum after Emile Wickham, 31, a black man who was asked to prepay for his dinner, filed a complaint alleging racial discrimination. NBC News, "Toronto restaurant hit with $10,000 fine for racial profiling," 30 Apr. 2018 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Unbeknownst to the commissioners, Greene had the county prepay the initial payment and several years’ worth of annual premiums for each policy agreement, according to the indictment. Joe Marusak, charlotteobserver, "Former NC official now accused of stealing millions in taxpayer money, faces more charges," 5 June 2018 The standard cost of a call is $0.25 per minute if prepaid or $0.35 per minute for collect calls. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County inmates offered a free 5-minute phone call home on Mother's Day," 12 May 2018 The suspect walked the victim through the process of buying $3,000 worth of Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid debit cards and had her read the numbers from the cards over the phone. Stephen English, star-telegram, "Sheriff's office impersonator had her convinced. She's out $3,000 in phone scam | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 7 May 2018 Last year, residents in many states tried to prepay their 2018 property taxes before the new law took effect, but the I.R.S. took action to limit that option. Alan Rappeport, New York Times, "I.R.S. Warns States Not to Circumvent State and Local Tax Cap," 23 May 2018

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

1839, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for prepay

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for prepay

The first known use of prepay was in 1839

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Financial Definition of prepayment

What It Is

Prepayment occurs when a borrower pays off a loan earlier than expected.

How It Works

For example, let's say that John Doe borrows $300,000 to buy a house in Phoenix. The loan is a 30-year mortgage at 5% interest. John lives in the house for five years and makes his payments on time every month. However, in year six, he gets a job offer in Philadelphia and decides to move there. Accordingly, he sells his house. At the closing, the buyer gives John $500,000 for his house. John uses $250,000 to pay off the remaining balance on the loan instead of making 25 more years of payments. John has prepaid the loan.

Why It Matters

When a borrower prepays a loan, the borrower saves a lot of interest. But that means the lender also misses out on all that interest. Accordingly, prepayment can sometimes come with a penalty, and this is disclosed in the loan documents.

People who invest in pass-through securities are also frequently concerned about prepayment. That's because those securities that receive payments from an intermediary that collects payments from a pool of assets. The most famous of these is mortgage-backed securities (MBS), which represent an interest in a pool of mortgage loans.

When people move, as we’ve seen, they sell their houses, payoff their mortgages with the proceeds, and buy new houses with new mortgages. When interest rates fall, many homeowners refinance their mortgages, meaning they obtain new, lower-rate mortgages and pay off their higher-rate mortgages with the proceeds. This means the lenders and the MBS investors miss out on interest income due to prepayment.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of prepay

: to pay for (something) before you receive or use it

: to pay (something) before you are required to pay it


pre·​pay | \ˈprē-ˈpā \
prepaid\-​ˈpād \; prepaying

Kids Definition of prepay

: to pay or pay for beforehand prepay the bill

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pre·​pay | \prē-ˈpā \
prepaid; prepaying

Legal Definition of prepay 

: to pay or pay the charge on in advance (as of date due or maturity date) no penalty for prepaying your student loan

Other Words from prepay

prepayment noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on prepay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with prepay

Spanish Central: Translation of prepay

Nglish: Translation of prepay for Spanish Speakers

Comments on prepay

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a knickknack or trinket

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