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pay (something) toward (something else)
To contribute some amount of money as a means of subsidizing some item, activity, or endeavor. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pay" and "toward" to specify the amount of money. The poll reveals that the average citizen is paying nearly a quarter of their salary toward their various debts each month. My employer agreed to pay $5,000 toward my postgraduate degree.
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.
1. To give or disburse money to someone for a service or as a fee. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pay" and "out." 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 let out a length of wire, rope, etc., by unraveling or unwinding it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "pay" and "out." 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.