repay (one) by (doing something)

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repay (one) by (doing something)

1. To do something as a means of providing compensation to one for some service one rendered or debt one is owed. Thank you so much for your tutoring! I'd like to repay you by helping with your packing ahead of your move next week. I don't have much money, but I can repay you by designing a new logo for your store, free of charge.
2. To do something that exhibits or indicates a complete lack of gratitude, regard, or esteem for one. (Sarcastic or ironic in its use.) I've devoted my life to raising you kids, and you repay me by stealing my car and all my money? Tom moved his entire life across the ocean to be with Sarah, and she repaid him by cheating on him over and over again.
3. To do something as an act of vengeance or retribution against one. The principal humiliated me in front of the other students, so I repaid him by putting sugar in the gas tank of his car. We're finally ready to repay this dictatorship by blowing up the palace and retaking the country for our own.
See also: by, repay
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

repay someone by something

to recompense someone by doing something; to settle a debt with someone by doing something. I will repay you by cutting your lawn free for a year. How's that? Can I repay you by taking you to dinner?
See also: by, repay
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Can you believe it, we saved these b***ds with [euro]64billion that should have gone to health and education and they repay us by robbing us blind.
Marion told the High Court in Stirling she had thought: "How can he do that to me, how can he repay us by coming in to rob us with weapons and terrify us?" Ralston, of Sauchenford, near Plean, Stirling, has pled not guilty to a charge of committing armed robbery while acting with another male.
It's ridiculous to charge this when they are boasting how we are top for recycling in Wales, pushing for us to do more especially with food waste, and they repay us by introducing charges for the garden waste!" Colin Roberts: "Lots of messy gardens around now then."
We pay for them; they repay us by shooting animals for a bit of sport!
They repay us by supporting organizations working to put a stop to our way of life.
oI feel sorry for youths and teenagers who are prohibited from coming here, but they have to realize that we have worked hard all our lives and made sacrifices to raise our children; now is the time to repay us by letting us live as we desire,o said Saeed.
'I only hope that New Zealand will repay us by performing the new haka.
I see they repay us by sponsoring London Irish when there is a far greater need and opportunity right here in Brum.
These radicals are content to live here and take everything that we have to offer, only to repay us by spreading hatred and intolerance.
"We have improved our level of service, and they repay us by telling us we could be out of a job in two years."
"It is a little sad that we are taking care of these people and they repay us by robbing us."
"He is very aware that Fulham were the club that gave him his chance in the Premier League, and I am sure he will repay us by staying."
She added: "We welcomed his ex-wife into our home and family and to repay us by murdering my son is beyond my comprehension."