pay (something) out

pay (something) out

1. To give or disburse money to someone for a service or as a fee. We've already paid out nearly $20,000 in legal fees—I don't think we can afford for this to drag on much longer! They paid a hefty sum out to their customers after a computer error drained their accounts.
2. To slacken and extend a line, as of rope or wire that has been coiled up. Would you mind paying the twine out so I can lash the tree to the hood of my car? Make sure you pay out enough rope for us to moor the boat.
See also: out, pay

pay something out (to someone)

to pay money to someone. The utility paid one hundred dollars out to everyone who had been overcharged. They paid out money to every customer.
See also: out, pay

pay something out

(for someone or something) to disburse or spend money for someone or something. We have already paid too much money out for your education. We paid out too much money.
See also: out, pay

pay something out

to unravel or unwind wire or rope as it is needed. (See also play something out.) One worker paid the cable out, and another worker guided it into the conduit. The worker paid out the cable.
See also: out, pay

pay out

1. Distribute money, disburse, as in He paid out the full amount. [Mid-1800s]
2. Let out a rope by slackening, as in She paid out the rope until it was long enough to tie the canoe onto the car. This nautical expression dates from the late 1700s.
See also: out, pay

pay out

v.
1. To disburse money to someone who is owed the money: We paid $2,000 out to the contractor. The clients paid out for our services in advance.
2. To spend money, especially a large amount: I paid out $20,000 for my new car. My parents paid a bundle out for my tuition.
3. To unwind or slowly add slack to some rope or line: He paid out the line after each cast. She paid the leash out bit by bit to allow the dog to explore in the park.
See also: out, pay