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

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?
Recent Examples on the Web Elsewhere, Oscar Isaac is wrapping up his limited series run as Moon Knight, in which his Marc Spector promises to repay the debt for all of the bad things he's done as the often violent Moon Knight. Ew Staff,, 4 May 2022 If a founder wants to repay debt, diversify their balance sheet or simply relieve the financial pressure valve, this question becomes more personal. Svb Contributor, Forbes, 2 May 2022 The median income of households targeted by collection agencies that later entered into installment agreements to repay their debt was $38,021, the report states. Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 30 Apr. 2022 To repay their student loan debt, many borrowers have had to make sacrifices. Brittany Gaddy, ABC News, 23 Apr. 2022 Still, the state has nearly $140 million in unfunded pension liabilities and has yet to come up with a plan to repay the remaining $1.8 billion unemployment fund debt, among other challenges. Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, 21 Apr. 2022 As ever, the saps are those who worked to repay their debt on time. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 21 Apr. 2022 The proceeds of the FPO were to be used to repay Ruchi’s debt. Mimansa Verma, Quartz, 29 Mar. 2022 Luscombe said the parent who claimed the child in 2020 would be required to repay the advance money when filing a tax return for the credit received last year with the 2021 return in many cases unless they were protected by safe harbor rules. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 4 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of repay

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

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

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Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Repay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for repay


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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