pay 1 of 2

as in to compensate
to give (someone) the sum of money owed for goods or services received we need to pay the cashier and then we can leave

Synonyms & Similar Words


Antonyms & Near Antonyms

as in to meet
to give what is owed for you ought to pay that bill before it's overdue

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

as in to yield
to produce as revenue an investment paying six percent

Synonyms & Similar Words



2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How is the word pay distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of pay are compensate, indemnify, recompense, reimburse, remunerate, repay, and satisfy. While all these words mean "to give money or its equivalent in return for something," pay implies the discharge of an obligation incurred.

paid their bills

When might compensate be a better fit than pay?

The words compensate and pay are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, compensate implies a making up for services rendered.

an attorney well compensated for her services

When can indemnify be used instead of pay?

Although the words indemnify and pay have much in common, indemnify implies making good a loss suffered through accident, disaster, warfare.

indemnified the families of the dead miners

When would recompense be a good substitute for pay?

The meanings of recompense and pay largely overlap; however, recompense suggests due return in amends, friendly repayment, or reward.

passengers were recompensed for the delay

When could reimburse be used to replace pay?

The synonyms reimburse and pay are sometimes interchangeable, but reimburse implies a return of money that has been spent for another's benefit.

reimbursed employees for expenses

Where would remunerate be a reasonable alternative to pay?

In some situations, the words remunerate and pay are roughly equivalent. However, 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

When is it sensible to use repay instead of pay?

While in some cases nearly identical to pay, repay stresses paying back an equivalent in kind or amount.

repay a favor with a favor

When is satisfy a more appropriate choice than pay?

While the synonyms satisfy and pay are close in meaning, satisfy implies paying a person what is required by law.

all creditors will be satisfied in full

Thesaurus Entries Near pay

Cite this Entry

“Pay.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

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