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 They are expected to actually repay it by addressing the vast and immediate needs of Black Americans. Los Angeles Times, "Column: What does Kamala Harris owe Black people? The first bill has just come due," 22 Feb. 2021 The plea agreement requires Patterson to repay nearly $73,000 that was stolen from a juvenile court fund and two of his former legal clients. Ashley Remkus |, al, "Former Alabama judge pleads guilty to theft, abuse of power," 30 Oct. 2020 Hug has reached an agreement with Pattis to repay nearly $140,000 in legal fees the estate says it is owed because Dulos took his own life before facing trial in the murder of his estranged wife, Jennifer Farber Dulos. Dave Altimari,, "Probate judge to determine whether to declare missing New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos legally dead," 22 Oct. 2020 Tensions between them are playing out as the government negotiates how to repay $44 billion to the International Monetary Fund. Patrick Gillespie,, "Cracks Surface in Argentina’s Ruling Coalition as Crisis Deepens," 16 Oct. 2020 Under the settlement, Huffman agreed to repay $60,000 through a payment plan that extends through 2025. Shannon Prather, Star Tribune, "Former Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman and state reach settlement on his management of defunct charity," 21 Sep. 2020 The Securities and Exchange Commission cited Mickelson for the trades in a lawsuit, and Mickelson agreed to repay the money. Ken Ritter, Star Tribune, "Insider trading sentence of Vegas gambler commuted by Trump," 20 Jan. 2021 The Treasury previously required that airlines repay about 30% of the job support funding. Alison Sider, WSJ, "Airlines to Bring Back Thousands of Workers After Passage of Covid-19 Aid Bill," 23 Dec. 2020 Matt Benson, a spokesman for Legacy, said Legacy hasn't determined whether Vertex will also repay its $2.1 million PPP loan. Craig Harris, USA TODAY, "Arizona charter school got a PPP loan, gave $10 million to shareholder," 21 Dec. 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

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Repay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 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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