pay off

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pay (one) off

To pay one money in exchange for special treatment or avoiding punishment; to bribe one. 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 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 ?
Review all of your outgoings and try to free some cash which can then be used to pay off debts.
Pay off lower interest rate debts in order based on the after-tax interest rate.
6 billion in second-stream property tax revenue--used to pay off the bonds that subsidized private businesses--over the 23-year life spans of these TIF districts.
According to the Tax Foundation, Connecticut residents, who have the highest tax burden, will on average have to work until May 3 to pay off their tax burden, and Alaska residents, who have the lowest state and local taxes, will be paid up on April 2.
In addition, consolidating your debts can improve your credit rating, by showing that you have the financial muscle to pay off several accounts.
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.
OWAIN Harrison is playing the stock market to pay off his mortgage.
The IRS has ruled in Letter Ruling (TAM) 9304003 that a corporation could not deduct an "extraordinary" dividend paid as part of a redemption and used to pay off an exempt employee stock option plan (ESOP) loan.
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.
THE decision of Liberal Democrats to quietly pay off the chief executive of Newcastle City Council is covered by a confidentiality agreement, gagging council insiders from revealing why he left and what payment he received.
THE ADVICE: Pay off remaining debt; invest in a bond fund, which can be liquidated to pay off the mortgage.
With the proceeds of such a loan, investment sales experts say Macklowe will likely pay off the building's existing debt, become the sole equity position, and reap a significant influx of cash that sources say Macklowe is eager to reinvest in the property to maintain its place as a building known for its amenities and technology.