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

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

Price, who built a reputation as a budget hawk during earlier congressional service, has apologized and repaid the government nearly $60,000. NBC News, "Watchdog: $341,000 wasted on travel for former high-flying HHS chief Tom Price," 13 July 2018 Price, who built a reputation as a budget hawk during earlier congressional service, has apologized and repaid the government nearly $60,000. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar,, "Agency watchdog slams ex-HHS chief Tom Price on costly travel," 13 July 2018 Price, who built a reputation as a budget hawk during earlier congressional service, has apologized and repaid the government nearly $60,000. CBS News, "Government watchdog slams former HHS head for travel," 13 July 2018 When loans are repaid, that money goes back into the loan pool. Kathleen Pender,, "Enter soon for chance to score $375,000 in SF down-payment lottery," 5 July 2018 Polen calls the loans an efficient way to manage cash, as long as they’re repaid every three to six months and aren’t used simply to increase returns. Sabrina Willmer And John Gittelsohn,, "Private equity sleight of hand makes so-so investments look superb, CalPERS says," 3 July 2018 Trump, according to this theory, repaid Broidy by agreeing to at least two Oval Office meetings, at which Broidy lobbied for the interests of the United Arab Emirates against the U.A.E.’s gulf state rival Qatar. Paul Campos, Daily Intelligencer, "Broidy Ending Playmate’s Hush Payments Doesn’t Add Up – Unless He’s Covering for Trump," 2 July 2018 In 2017, Sanders repaid the favor and endorsed Jealous for governor; meanwhile, Representatives Steny Hoyer and Chris Van Hollen endorsed Jealous’s opponent, Rushern Baker III. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "Give the Left a Chance," 27 June 2018 The renovation of the convention center is expected to cost between $220 million and $240 million, with most of that being repaid by revenue from hotel taxes. Ryan Lillis, sacbee, "See what the new $240 million Sacramento Convention Center would look like," 19 June 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

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on repay

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