pay back

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.

pay (one) back

1. To repay one. I don't mind you borrowing money from me, but please pay me back as soon as possible. If you don't pay back the bank, they could repossess your house!
2. To return one's favor. Thank you so much for taking the kids while I was in the hospital! I don't know how I'll pay you back.
3. To get or seek revenge or retribution on one. The boss paid me back for my criticism by giving me the most tedious, mind-numbing assignments possible. The best way to pay back bullies from high school is to show them how successful you've become as an adult.
See also: back, pay

pay (something) back

To repay an amount of money that was borrowed. If you fail to pay your loan back in the minimum monthly installments, the bank will start charging exorbitant fees.
See also: back, pay


Revenge or retribution. Many people believe the demotion was payback for his refusal to support the legislation. I could see him staggering over to us, drunk as a skunk and looking for payback.

pay someone back

1. . Lit. to return money that was borrowed from a person. You owe me money. When are you going to pay me back? You must pay John back. You have owed him money for a long time. You have to pay back everyone you owe money to.
2. Fig. to get even with someone [for doing something]. I will pay her back for what she said about me. Fred eventually will pay Mike back. He bears grudges for a long time. He intends to pay back everyone who has wronged him!
See also: back, pay

pay something back (to someone)

to repay someone. I paid the money back to Jerry. Can I pay back the money to George now? Please pay the money back now.
See also: back, pay

pay back

1. Repay a debt or a loan, as in I'll pay you back next month.
2. Also, pay back in someone's own coin. Revenge oneself, repay in kind, as in He thought he could get away with copying my plans, but I'll pay him back in his own coin . This expression refers to repaying a debt in exactly the same currency in which the money had been lent. [c. 1600]
See also: back, pay

pay back

1. To return some amount of money that has been borrowed: Will you pay back the $60 I gave you last month? They finally paid the money back.
2. To repay someone an amount of money: I might not have enough money to pay them back. We need to pay back the bank.
3. To reward or punish someone for something: After all their hard work, the team was paid back with a victory. After they beat us, we paid them back by winning the series.
See also: back, pay
References in periodicals archive ?
Under the proceeds of crime order at Warrington crown court, Cullen, of Dallam Gardens, Warrington, must pay back PS29,762; O''Malley, 24, of Festival Avenue, Warrington, must repay PS10,033; Blackmore, 34, of Gaskell Avenue, Warrington, must hand over PS34,316 and Ellison, 25, of Bowman Avenue, Warrington, must give back PS1,229.
At the latest in 2012 we want to begin to pay back the state aid, while respecting the interests of all shareholders.
Years unable to pay credit card debt unable to pay back personal loan unable to pay credit card debt and personal loan
They should be taken to court for fraud and made to pay back every penny, giving thanks that they're not sent to prison.
And now the old soldier, of Sutton Bonington, Leics, has been ordered to pay back pounds 3,000.
Also, offers to pay back this money are unnecessary, as legally they have nothing to pay back.
The European Court recently ruled that the airline would have to pay back state aid that is illegal under European Union law.
DIC) said Friday it has approved plans by six banks and banking groups to pay back public funds injected into them in March 1998 under the government's bank recapitalization program.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-14 March 2002-Barnevik and Lindahl to pay back money to ABB (C)1994-2002 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
Financial statements don't pay back loans people do it is important for the loan officer to believe this Pennsylvania Central Railroad is a good example though they had a great balance sheet and income statement they went bankrupt.
I want him employed so he can pay back the money he took," said Enos.
They meet with a loan officer once a week to pay back a portion of the loan and receive more business training.
The buyer could structure the deal so an affiliated entity pays back the debt, or the buyer could lend money to the target company in advance of the acquisition and the target company could use the money to pay back the original lender.
and 14 other Japanese life insurers doing business in Taiwan during the 1895-1945 Japanese rule said Tuesday they have signed a contract with a law firm in Taiwan to help pay back premiums and insurance money to local policyholders.