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 ?
March 25 2OO2 - Warwickshire house mortgage paid off.
9 per cent rate on the new spending, it will be free if the new spending is paid off first.
The report also states that more than 5,000 low-income units have been lost in the city as landlords have paid off their HUD-financed mortgages - and thousands more are at risk of being lost.
The loan, which would have take 20 years to clear with his previous lender is already on course to be paid off in less than 15 years.
But his mother, Terry Milligan, said the rewards of 4-H already have paid off for her son.
Classes A, X-1, B, C, D, E, and F have paid off and the ratings have been withdrawn.
Those debts that cannot be paid off are discharged.
Talking about any tax break is immoral and should never be considered until the national debt this generation created with Star Wars and other nonsensical projects too numerous to mention has been paid off.
The bridge loan will be paid off from part of the financing proceeds.
As one debt is paid off, take the money you were paying toward the paid-off debt, and apply it to the regular payment of the next debt and then use the same process with the debt after that until the entire debt is paid in full.
By the time I open up my market and try to sell outside my service territory, these tax-exempt bonds on my generating plants damn well better be paid off.
Since Fitch's last rating action, five loans have paid off, reducing the outstanding certificate balance by 36%.
The 67-year-old Encino resident is part of a federal class-action lawsuit filed recently in New York against 20 of Europe's largest insurers who have not paid off on policies sold to Jews who died in the Holocaust.
The OC currently stands at its target of $2,180,151 and 85% of the collateral has paid off.