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payoff

[pey-awf, -of] /ˈpeɪˌɔf, -ˌɒf/
noun
1.
the payment of a salary, debt, wager, etc.
2.
the time at which such payment is made.
3.
the consequence, outcome, or final sequence in a series of events, actions, or circumstances:
The payoff was when they fired him.
4.
Informal. the climax of something, especially a story or joke.
5.
a settlement or reckoning, as in retribution or reward.
6.
Informal. a bribe.
adjective
7.
yielding results, especially rewarding or decisive results:
The payoff play was the long pass into the end zone.
Origin of payoff
1910-1915
1910-15; noun, adj. use of verb phrase pay off
Synonyms
3. climax, upshot, finale.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for payoff

pay off

verb
1.
(transitive, adverb) to pay all that is due in wages, etc, and discharge from employment
2.
(transitive, adverb) to pay the complete amount of (a debt, bill, etc)
3.
(intransitive, adverb) to turn out to be profitable, effective, etc: the gamble paid off
4.
(transitive, adverb) or intr, preposition. to take revenge on (a person) or for (a wrong done): to pay someone off for an insult
5.
(transitive, adverb) (informal) to give a bribe to
6.
(intransitive, adverb) (nautical) (of a vessel) to make leeway
noun
7.
the final settlement, esp in retribution: the payoff came when the gang besieged the squealer's house
8.
(informal) the climax, consequence, or outcome of events, a story, etc, esp when unexpected or improbable
9.
the final payment of a debt, salary, etc
10.
the time of such a payment
11.
(informal) a bribe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for payoff
n.

also pay-off, 1905, "winnings from gambling," from pay (v.) + off. Meaning "graft, bribes" first attested 1930. Phrase to pay off "be profitable" is first recorded 1937.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for payoff

payoff

noun
  1. Payment, esp of bribery, graft, etc: The villains were waiting for their payoff (1930+ Underworld)
  2. The final outcome or bit of information, esp when it is surprising or amusing: ok, here's the payoff, she's the Albanian consul! (1926+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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