pay (one's) 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.
See also: due, pay

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

pay one's dues

Earn something through hard work, long experience, or suffering. For example, She'd paid her dues in small-town shows before she finally got a Broadway part. This expression transfers the cost of being a paid-up member in an organization to that of gaining experience in an endeavor. [Mid-1900s]
See also: due, pay

pay one’s dues

verb
See also: due, pay

pay one’s dues

tv. to serve one’s time in a menial role. (see also pay one’s dues (to society).) I spent some time as a bus boy, so I’ve paid my dues in the serving business.
See also: due, pay

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
References in periodicals archive ?
You can get a hardship extension of two to six months or choose to pay your dues in four monthly installments.
AICPA dues statements are now available online at www.aicpa.org/myaccount (you can pay your dues with a credit card when logged in).
To ensure there is no lapse in your membership, here are four easy ways to pay your dues bill:
Go to www.iardc.org and click on "2009 Online Registration" to register and pay your dues securely over the Internet, no matter how late you are.
Pay your dues now in order to avoid an interruption in your member benefits including access to technical publications in ASABE's Online Technical Library.
Surely if you are a member of Unison and pay your dues, you are entitled to the same as every union member whether you have a permanent job or you are a supply nurse, seeking a permanent job?
Speaking of New Orleans, I was delighted that nearly two thousand members took advantage of our "pay your dues early and possibly win" contest.
Sure, you have to pay your dues to get where you want to be, but the emotional and monetary rewards can be very high."
For your convenience, you can pay your dues online at www.aicpa.org/about/dues.htm.
Even if you can't locate your invoice, you can pay your dues online in a matter of minutes.
They say you gotta pay your dues before you can pay the rent.
Second dues notices are in the mail, but you can also pay your dues by visiting www.tel.org.
You may also call us at 800-371-2723 or 269-429-0300 to pay your dues or fax them to 269-429-3852.
Skateboarding is bigger than ever, and plus you've got to pay your dues. The lame thing is that a month after I turned pro I sprained my shoulder skating down the street trying to do a powerslide.
Be sure to pay your dues for 2003 in order to avoid an interruption in your member benefits including access to ASAE's Online Technical Library.