Pronunciation: (pā), [key]
v., paid or ( Obs.except for def. 12) payed; pay•ing;
n., adj.

1. to settle (a debt, obligation, etc.), as by transferring money or goods, or by doing something: Please pay your bill.
2. to give over (a certain amount of money) in exchange for something: He paid twenty dollars for the shirt.
3. to transfer money as compensation or recompense for work done or services rendered; to satisfy the claims of (a person, organization, etc.), as by giving money due: He paid me for my work.
4. to defray (cost or expense).
5. to give compensation for.
6. to yield a recompense or return to; be profitable to: Your training will pay you well in the future.
7. to yield as a return: The stock paid six percent last year.
8. to requite, as for good, harm, or an offense: How can I pay her for her kindness and generosity?
9. to give or render (attention, respects, compliments, etc.), as if due or fitting.
10. to make (a call, visit, etc.).
11. to suffer in retribution; undergo: You'll pay the penalty for your stubbornness!
12. let (a ship) fall off to leeward.

1. to transfer money, goods, etc., as in making a purchase or settling a debt.
2. to discharge a debt or obligation.
3. to yield a return, profit, or advantage; be worthwhile: It pays to be courteous.
4. to give compensation, as for damage or loss sustained.
5. to suffer or be punished for something: The murderer paid with his life.
6. pay as you go,
a. to pay for (goods, services, etc.) at the time of purchase, as opposed to buying on credit.
b. to spend no more than income permits; keep out of debt.
c. to pay income tax by regular deductions from one's salary or wages.
7. pay back,
a. to repay or return: to pay back a loan.
b. to retaliate against or punish: She paid us back by refusing the invitation.
c. to requite.
8. pay down,
a. to pay (part of the total price) at the time of purchase, with the promise to pay the balance in installments: On this plan you pay only ten percent down.
b. to pay off or back; amortize: The company's debt is being paid down rapidly.
9. pay for, to suffer or be punished for: to pay for one's sins.
10. pay off,
a. to pay (someone) everything that is due that person, esp. to do so and discharge from one's employ.
b. to pay (a debt) in full.
c. bribe.
d. to retaliate upon or punish.
e. fall off to leeward.
f. to result in success or failure: The risk paid off handsomely.
11. pay one's or its way,
a. to pay one's portion of shared expenses.
b. to yield a return on one's investment sufficient to repay one's expenses: It will take time for the restaurant to begin paying its way.
12. pay out,
a. to distribute (money, wages, etc.); disburse.
b. to get revenge upon for an injury; punish.
c. to let out (a rope) by slackening.
13. pay up,
a. to pay fully.
b. to pay on demand: The gangsters used threats of violence to force the shopkeepers to pay up.

1. the act of paying or being paid; payment.
2. wages, salary, or a stipend.
3. a person with reference to solvency or reputation for meeting obligations: The bank regards him as good pay.
4. paid employment: in the pay of the enemy.
5. reward or punishment; requital.
6. a rock stratum from which petroleum is obtained.

1. requiring subscribed or monthly payment for use or service: pay television.
2. operable or accessible on deposit of a coin or coins: a pay toilet.
3. of or pertaining to payment.


Pronunciation: (pā), [key]
v.t., payed, pay•ing. Naut.
to coat or cover (seams, a ship's bottom, etc.) with pitch, tar, or the like.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

See also:
  • pay (Thesaurus)

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