see also: Pay
Pronunciation Verb

pay (pays, present participle paying; past and past participle paid)

  1. (transitive) To give money or other compensation to in exchange for goods or services.
    he paid him to clean the place up
    he paid her off the books and in kind where possible
  2. (ambitransitive) To discharge, as a debt or other obligation, by giving or doing what is due or required.
    she offered to pay the bill
    he has paid his debt to society
    • Bible, Psalms xxxvii. 21
      The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again.
    • 1594, William Shakespeare, Lvcrece (First Quarto)‎, London: Printed by Richard Field, for Iohn Harrison, […], OCLC 236076664 ↗:
      The petty ſtreames that paie a dailie debt#English|det / To their ſalt ſoveraigne with their freſh falls#English|fals haste#English|haſt, / Adde to his flowe, but alter not his taſt.
  3. (transitive) To be profitable for.
    It didn't pay him to keep the store open any more.
  4. (transitive) To give (something else than money).
    to pay attention
    • c. 1595–1596, William Shakespeare, “A Midsommer Nights Dreame”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene i]:
      not paying me a welcome
    • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter I, in The Squire’s Daughter, London: Methuen, OCLC 12026604 ↗; republished New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919, OCLC 491297620 ↗:
      They stayed together during three dances, went out on to the terrace, explored wherever they were permitted to explore, paid two visits to the buffet, and enjoyed themselves much in the same way as if they had been school-children surreptitiously breaking loose from an assembly of grown-ups.
  5. (intransitive) To be profitable or worth the effort.
    crime doesn’t pay
    it will pay to wait
  6. (intransitive) To discharge an obligation or debt.
    He was allowed to go as soon as he paid.
  7. (intransitive) To suffer consequences.
    He paid for his fun in the sun with a terrible sunburn.
  8. (transitive) To admit that a joke, punchline, etc., was funny.
    I'll pay that.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun


  1. Money given in return for work; salary or wages.
    Many employers have rules designed to keep employees from comparing their pays.
Translations Adjective

pay (not comparable)

  1. Operable or accessible on deposit of coins.
    pay toilet
  2. Pertaining to or requiring payment.
Translations Translations Verb

pay (pays, present participle paying; past and past participle payed)

  1. (nautical, transitive) To cover (the bottom of a vessel, a seam, a spar, etc.) with tar or pitch, or a waterproof composition of tallow, resin, etc.; to smear.
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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