re·​pay | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈpā How to pronounce repay (audio) \
repaid\ (ˌ)rē-​ˈpād How to pronounce repay (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 repay (audio) \ adjective
repayment \ (ˌ)rē-​ˈpā-​mənt How to pronounce repay (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for repay


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Choose the Right Synonym for repay

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 Qualifying employees who graduated from school with an associate’s degree or above and have student loan debt will receive a monthly contribution of $100 to help repay it—with a lifetime maximum of $10,000. Laura Begley Bloom, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 The fund was long considered among the accounts subject to being swept into the constitutional budget reserve to repay it for money that has been used from it. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2021 Cruz's dispute with the FEC centers around a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 that sets a $250,000 cap on the amount of money raised after Election Day that a campaign may use to repay debt owed to the candidate. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 30 Sep. 2021 This debt could be putting pressure on older adults to work longer and eventually postponing retirement to continue working to repay their debt. Teresa Ghilarducci, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 If the convention center is ever unable to repay its debt, the burden would fall on taxpayers. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, 10 Sep. 2021 But while first responders and EMTs were held up as models for the country and personal sacrifice, America has still struggled to repay this nationwide debt in full. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, 9 Sep. 2021 To repay his life debt, Zeller later helped Shinwari get a visa and come to the United States. Dakin Andone, CNN, 16 Aug. 2021 Police found as soon as the first Federal Law Enforcement Officer Line of Duty Death Benefit deposited into her account in 2018, Huff withdrew nearly $5,500 the same day to repay her delinquent student loan debt. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, 30 July 2021

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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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Repay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for repay



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?

More from Merriam-Webster on repay

Nglish: Translation of repay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repay for Arabic Speakers


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