pay back

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pay back

1. 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.
2. To repay someone or some group. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pay" and "back." 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!
3. To return a favor given by someone or some group. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pay" and "back." Thank you so much for taking the kids while I was in the hospital! I don't know how I'll pay you back. Many believe the politician's push for deregulation is her paying back the corporations who indirectly funded her campaign.
4. To get or seek revenge or retribution on someone or some group. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pay" and "back." 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


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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
O'Brien, of Aston Cantlow Road, Wilmcote, has to pay back PS20,178.70 or face eight months behind bars, and Edmunds, of Pomeroy Road, Pheasey, has to pay back PS2,367.50 or face two months inside.
At a confiscation hearing at Birmingham Crown Court Anderson, of Forshaw Heath Lane, Earlswood, Solihull, was ordered to pay back PS150,000 or face 18 months in prison.
A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing in Cardiff yesterday saw him ordered to pay back a total of PS73,581 plus a further PS1,150 towards prosecution costs.
The man, who does odd jobs in Al Ain city, confessed to police that he killed his cousin because he had failed to pay back his Dhs400 on time.
The post Businessman's inability to pay back excessive interest on loan led to bomb blast, court told appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
At an earlier hearing last year Terence Cunningham Snr, 50, was ordered to pay back PS402,513.49.
In a court hearing in 2014, a confiscation order was granted ordering the 51-year-old to pay back PS250,000 of his tax scam.
Pay back on time Payday lenders charge up to PS24 interest per month for each PS100 you borrow.
So, if you take out a loan of PS100 over 30 days, and pay back on time, you will pay no more than PS24 in interest.
A CRIMINAL who took part in a brutal robbery outside a mobile phone shop that led to the death of a businessman has been ordered to pay back just over PS1,000.
Four-year university students would be required to pay back 4 percent of their income for five years for each year they attended school through the program, while community college students would pay 2 percent.
The repayment was completed on Tuesday, and is in accordance with Prime Minister Viktor Orban's pledge that Hungary would pay back in full the remainder of its IMF loan this summer.
The company stated that it used part of the USD1bn that it recently raised in common stock and convertible senior notes to pay back its creditors.
MEMBERS of a sophisticated drugs racket were ordered to pay back their ill-gotten gains.
But the Peterborough-based bank's president says it wants to pay back its loan so it can complete its merger with GFA Federal Credit Union, but it can't because the federal government has told the bank to keep its money, for now.