re·​pay | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈpā How to pronounce repay (audio) \
repaid\ (ˌ)rē-​ˈpād How to pronounce repaid (audio) \; repaying

Definition of repay

transitive verb

1a : to pay back repay a loan
b : to give or inflict in return or requital repay evil for evil
2 : to make a return payment to : compensate, requite
3 : to make requital for : recompense the success that repays hard work

intransitive verb

: to make return payment or requital

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Other Words from repay

repayable \ (ˌ)rē-​ˈpā-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce repayable (audio) \ adjective
repayment \ (ˌ)rē-​ˈpā-​mənt How to pronounce repayment (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for repay


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pay, compensate, remunerate, satisfy, reimburse, indemnify, repay, recompense mean to give money or its equivalent in return for something. pay implies the discharge of an obligation incurred. paid their bills compensate implies a making up for services rendered. an attorney well compensated for her services remunerate clearly suggests paying for services rendered and may extend to payment that is generous or not contracted for. promised to remunerate the searchers handsomely satisfy implies paying a person what is required by law. all creditors will be satisfied in full reimburse implies a return of money that has been spent for another's benefit. reimbursed employees for expenses indemnify implies making good a loss suffered through accident, disaster, warfare. indemnified the families of the dead miners repay stresses paying back an equivalent in kind or amount. repay a favor with a favor recompense suggests due return in amends, friendly repayment, or reward. passengers were recompensed for the delay

Examples of repay in a Sentence

You can repay the mortgage over 30 years. She would rather have to repay the bank than borrow from her parents and have to repay them. How can I ever repay your kindness? How can I ever repay you for your kindness?
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Recent Examples on the Web Rather than offering the relief as a loan, which venues would need to repay, the bill would provide grants. Lucas Shaw,, "The Bitter End and Other Concert Venues Say They Won’t Survive Without a Bailout," 9 Oct. 2020 Congress also created pandemic loans for hospitals by advancing Medicare payments, which hospitals must eventually repay. Melanie Evans, WSJ, "Hospital Chain to Return $6 Billion in Pandemic Aid Ahead of Schedule," 8 Oct. 2020 But that aid has become a headache for tens of thousands of people in Ohio, Pennsylvania and other states who were mistakenly overpaid by their state unemployment offices — and are now being asked to repay the money. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Some states overpaid unemployment benefits — and want the money back," 6 Oct. 2020 General Motors will repay $28 million in state tax incentives to Ohio after the largest U.S. automaker came under heavy criticism for closing its Lordstown Assembly plant in March 2019. Washington Post, "SEC charges former Amazon finance manager, family members with insider trading," 28 Sep. 2020 The moves encouraged 126,000 of the defaulters to repay debts, according to Xinhua. Sherisse Pham, CNN, "How Jack Ma built China's money supermarket into a $200 billion company," 25 Sep. 2020 Wisconsin residents receiving an extra $300 in federal unemployment benefits won't be required to repay the money unless directed by the federal government, the Department of Workforce Development said. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin not planning to seek repayment on $300 federal unemployment benefit," 17 Sep. 2020 Cadiz and the two other defendants also must repay $2.5 million. Craig Harris, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona charter school principal sentenced to prison for role in $2.5M fraud scheme," 15 Sep. 2020 Havre de Grace will repay the funds over 20 years, making debt service payments twice a year. David Anderson,, "Havre de Grace borrows about $9.6 million, at nearly 2.3% interest, for water and sewer projects," 10 Sep. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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Time Traveler for repay

Time Traveler

The first known use of repay was in the 15th century

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Statistics for repay

Last Updated

13 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Repay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for repay


How to pronounce repay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of repay

: to pay back (money that you have borrowed)
: to make a payment to (a person or organization that has loaned you money)
: to do or give something in return for (something) : to provide something in return for (work, effort, etc.)


re·​pay | \ rē-ˈpā How to pronounce repay (audio) \
repaid\ -​ˈpād \; repaying

Kids Definition of repay

1 : to pay back repay a loan
2 : to do or give something in return How can I repay the favor?

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