pay off

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pay (one) off

To pay someone money to receive special treatment or avoid punishment; to bribe someone. Despite the huge amount of evidence, the criminal was still acquitted. He must have paid off the jury! We paid off the committee members, so our application should go through without a hitch.
See also: off, pay

pay (something) off

To repay a debt or bill in full; to finish paying for something bought on credit. I should have enough in my account to pay the phone bill off this month. We've just finished paying off the car, and you want to start looking at a newer model?
See also: off, pay

pay off

To yield profits or benefits following an investment (of time, money, energy, etc.). Wow, those private lessons have really paid off—your Spanish sounds totally fluent! If this venture doesn't pay off, we'll be forced to declare bankruptcy.
See also: off, pay

pay someone off.

1. Lit. to pay what is owed to a person. I can't pay you off until Wednesday when I get my paycheck. I have to use this money to pay off Sarah.
2. Fig. to bribe someone. Max asked Lefty if he had paid the cops off yet. Lefty paid off the cops on time.
See also: off, pay

pay something off

to pay all of a debt; to pay the final payment for something bought on credit. This month I'll pay the car off. Did you pay off the gas bill yet?
See also: off, pay

pay off

to yield profits; to result in benefits. My investment in those stocks has really paid off. The time I spent in school paid off in later years.
See also: off, pay

pay off

1. Pay the full amount on a debt or on wages, as in The car's finally paid off, or Les pays off the workers every Friday evening. [Early 1700s]
2. Produce a profit, as in That gamble did not pay off. [Mid-1900s]
3. Also, pay off an old score. Get revenge on someone for some grievance, require, as in Jerry was satisfied; he'd paid off his ex-partner when he bought him out at half-price, or Amy went out with her roommate's boyfriend, but she was paying off and old score.
4. Bribe, as in The owner of the bar paid off the local police so he wouldn't get in trouble for serving liquor to minors . [Colloquial; c. 1900]
See also: off, pay

pay off

1. To pay the full amount of some debt: She paid off the mortgage ahead of schedule. He paid his college debt off six years after he graduated.
2. To result in profit; be lucrative: Your efforts will eventually pay off.
3. To result in some degree of profit or loss: My unwise bet paid off very badly.
4. To pay the wages that are due to an employee upon discharge: We were fired, so they paid us off and we left the building. The company didn't fire the workers because it couldn't afford to pay them off.
5. To bribe someone in order to ensure cooperation: The owner of the factory paid off the inspectors so that they wouldn't report the safety violations. I won't allow anyone to cheat here, and no one can pay me off.
See also: off, pay
References in periodicals archive ?
The more people pay to play, the more money Givling collects to help pay off the student loans of those in Givling's queue.
If you have more than one credit card, then aim to pay off the one charging the highest interest rate first - but don't forget to pay at least the minimum off others or you're likely to face a penalty.
So now you can forget about those bills coming in as we give you the cash to pay off your credit card
Pay off lower interest rate debts in order based on the after-tax interest rate.
RBS Offset Mortgage can help customers to pay off their mortgage early by using the balance of their savings and current account to reduce the interest paid on their mortgage
She also told the magistrates her purse containing pounds 170 which she planned to use to pay off her fine, had been stolen, along with her fines payment card.
Of course, certain states have higher tax rates than others, and so their citizens would need more days to pay off their tax burden than would those living in states with low tax rates.
And six out of 10 who took out endowments claim they were told the policy was 'guaranteed' to pay off their mortgage.
The idea is to put as much as you can in a fund, then pay off the part of your mortgage that is interest-only.
This should produce enough to pay off the mortgage and provide a worthwhile bonus.
Unlike Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, however, the contestants on this dinnertime game show don't compete for fancy prizes and trips, but to pay off $6,000 to $20,000 of consumer debt.
The ESOP used part of the redemption proceeds to pay off the exempt loan.
From January 1 through January 31, shoppers can enter the Fresh Start Every Day Sweepstakes for the chance to pay off their bills, including a grand prize $100,000 home payoff.
Show you how long it will take to pay off your entire balance if you pay only the minimum payment each month and make no additional purchases or advances.
ONE in three retired people who unlocked equity from their home used the cash to pay off credit card debt and loans, research claimed yesterday.