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A sum of money, typically a bribe, paid to a government official or business person so as to facilitate or expedite some decision or transaction. Just offer the governor's aide a grease payment to move our building application to the forefront of the governor's agenda.
A small sum of money or other gifts or services to be paid or given to government officials to expedite business operations in countries that do not prohibit such activity. Whenever I start up a new factory overseas, I make sure to bring along enough cash on hand for any lubrication payments I may need to make.
To prevent a bank check or wire transfer from being honored or processed and having the funds leave an account. The bank stopped payment when they suspected that the signature on the check had been forged. Unfortunately, as the direct debit has already been issued for this month, you'll have to call the bank to stop payment.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Instruct a bank not to honor a check one has drawn, as in If that check was lost, we'll have to stop payment on it before issuing another. This usage was first recorded in 1722.
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.