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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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 The new lockdowns could result in businesses as well as households struggling to repay bank loans, which will result in more bad loans piling on the books of Indian banks, warns global rating agency Moody’s India arm ICRA. Prathamesh Mulye, Quartz, "The second wave of Covid-19 will deepen the bad loan crisis at Indian banks," 20 Apr. 2021 CBS MoneyWatch reported in February that as of the middle of 2020, Robinhood's customers were 14 times more likely to be unable to repay their stock loans than investors who borrowed from rival brokerages like eTrade, TD Ameritrade and others. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Ahead of IPO, Robinhood expands risky stock market lending," 25 Mar. 2021 Besides, the program did not require that companies demonstrate their ability to repay — plenty of businesses on very shaky footing applied for and received funding, sometimes filing for bankruptcy later. ProPublica, "Email Address:," 25 Mar. 2021 If inflation picks up in the future, or if confidence drops in our ability to repay bond investors, the debt that is quite affordable now could become unaffordable later. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Taylor: How much national debt is too much?," 10 Feb. 2021 Anastasio also encourages consumers to repay 401(k) loans more aggressively. Nerd Wallet, cleveland, "How to right your retirement savings after coronavirus setbacks," 6 Feb. 2021 In many cases, parents would have to co-sign, which would limit the size of the loan to their ability to repay. Joe Nocera And Bloomberg Opinion, Star Tribune, "Bankruptcy is the solution to the student loan crisis," 25 Dec. 2020 Lamont ruled out state assistance to businesses that will be assessed a fee next year to repay federal loans to the state to fill the trust fund. Stephen Singer,, "Gov. Lamont taps unemployment trust fund to bring more benefits to 38,000 Connecticut workers who lost jobs during the pandemic," 4 Dec. 2020 Under federal campaign law, candidates have 20 days after the election to collect donations usable to repay personal loans to their campaigns. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, "Cruz and FEC fight over whether donors can repay $10,000 he loaned his 2018 campaign against O’Rourke," 28 Oct. 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

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Repay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 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?

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More from Merriam-Webster on repay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repay

Nglish: Translation of repay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repay for Arabic Speakers

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