pay dues

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pay (one's) dues

1. Literally, to pay the requisite fees to enter into or remain in an organization. If you don't pay your dues every month, they will rescind your membership without warning.
2. By extension, to work hard, gain the necessary skills or experience, or suffer hardships (in order to earn a position, set of rights, the respect of others, etc.). I paid my dues working in the warehouse for 10 years before I got this job in the head office.
3. To serve the sentence given to one upon conviction of a crime. He paid his dues in the eyes of the law, so he shouldn't be facing any further punishment for his past crimes. A: "We can't re-hire you—you're a criminal!" B: "Hey, I spent nearly 15 years in prison. I've paid my dues!"
See also: due, pay
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pay one's dues

1. Lit. to pay the fees required to belong to an organization. If you haven't paid your dues, you can't come to the club picnic. How many people have paid their dues?
2. Fig. to have earned one's right to something through hard work or suffering. He worked hard to get to where he is today. He paid his dues and did what he was told. I have every right to be here. I paid my dues!
See also: due, pay
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

pay (one's) dues

To earn a given right or position through hard work, long-term experience, or suffering: She paid her dues in small-town theaters before being cast in a Broadway play.
See also: due, pay
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Greenstein said individuals will be required to pay dues to another board to maintain both the Realtor "R" and individual designations such as Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI), Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), General Accredited Appraiser (GAA), and Residential Accredited Appraiser (RAA).
Later on, Ghulam Abbas, the father of Jamal, lodged a formal complaint with the police that Azam was to pay dues to his son Jamal who had been demanding for the the last few weeks.
According to PEPCO sources, K-Electric has to pay dues of 56 billion rupees.
The state government on Monday told power regulator DERC that the licences of discoms should be revoked if they fail to pay dues to the NTPC and resort to power cuts.
Arbil / NINA /-- Kurdistan regional government demanded the federal government to pay dues of foreign oil companies operating in the region in order to resume production of crude oil.
But the fairness is deceptive - the right to refuse to join a union is already guaranteed by federal law, as is the right to refuse to pay dues unrelated to union negotiating efforts.
8 (ANI): Wasim Akram accused doctors, who treated his late wife Huma, of negligence only when the former Pakistani cricketer was asked to pay dues for his wife's treatment, the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) was told.
These workers were forced to pay dues in order to work.
DC Dr Anwar told Dawn the Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills machinery had been confiscated by the government and if the owners did not pay dues to effected farmers, the government would sell it to recover the dues of the farmers, who have been trying to get their dues for the last 20 months.
According to details, the EOBI had raised objection that Ibrahim Khan was defaulter of over Rs 10 million and made a company and registered it with EOBI but did not pay dues.
CDA has to pay dues of more than RS 1 billion to IESCO.
IN AN effort to rescue the lossmaking sugar industry, a ministerial panel on Friday recommended a bailout package, including ` 7,200 crore of interest- free bank loans to pay dues to sugarcane growers.