re·​pay | \(ˌ)rē-ˈpā \
repaid\(ˌ)rē-​ˈpād \; 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 \ adjective
repayment \(ˌ)rē-​ˈpā-​mənt \ noun

Synonyms for repay


refund, reimburse

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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

Federal student loans, like any other type of loan, must be repaid with interest. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "What to Know About Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)," 1 Oct. 2018 The idea is that the upgrades can be effective enough to lower customers' bills for heat or electricity, even after factoring in the monthly cost of repaying the loans. Nathaniel Herz, Anchorage Daily News, "Juneau wrap-up, part 5: Lawmakers pass energy-efficiency loan legislation," 31 May 2018 That law also requires some of the early money be spent on repaying government debts. Liam Dillon,, "Gov. Jerry Brown offers part of a historic budget bonanza to help ease California's homelessness crisis," 11 May 2018 But much of that is committed to repaying a secured $60 million low-interest loan due in 2020 that was arranged by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. from the Welcome Fund, a loan program for economic development in the city. Andrew Maykuth,, "With dearth of orders, Philly Shipyard's future is at risk," 10 May 2018 Borrowers cannot be penalized for repaying the loan early. Laura Hancock,, "Payday lending bill advances out of Ohio legislative committee," 18 Apr. 2018 AC Milan owner Yonghong Li has failed in an attempt to refinance the club using bitcoin, as the Chinese investor looks to explore ways of repaying the loan that was taken out when purchasing the Italian club., "Italian Report Reveals AC Milan Owners Failed in Attempt to Refinance Club Using Bitcoin," 26 Mar. 2018 The dividend was halted last year so the company can focus on repaying debt., "President Trump Speaks at CPAC," 23 Feb. 2018 After the Alabama election, critics accused the Democratic party of taking the reliable base for granted, and suggestions of how Democrats could repay black women for their allegiance flooded the Internet. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "Democrats Need to Take Black Women More Seriously. Oprah Could Be the Answer," 8 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for repay

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for repay

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

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More Definitions for repay



Financial Definition of repayment

What It Is

Repayment usually refers to the payments on a debt.

How It Works

Under the terms of a loan, repayment can have different schedules and requirements. For example, a loan may be amortized over a specific period of time, requiring regular repayments. The repayments would be divided between the interest (i.e. the interest on the outstanding loan amount) and the principal repayment (i.e. the remaining amount of the periodic payment that is used to reduce the outstanding loan amount). At the same time, a loan term may be amortized over a longer period of time than the due date on the loan.  In this case, a loan will require a "balloon repayment" (i.e. the amount of principal not yet repaid will be due in full at the end of the term). In either case, all payments on the loan are called repayments.

Why It Matters

For both a borrower and a lender, the breakdown of repayments into principal and interest are very important. For a business, the interest portion of the repayment on a business loan is tax deductible. The principal is not.   For a lender, the interest portion of the repayment is treated as income.  The principal is not.

Source: Investing Answers



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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with repay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for repay

Spanish Central: Translation of repay

Nglish: Translation of repay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of repay for Arabic Speakers

Comments on repay

What made you want to look up repay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a nest or breeding place

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