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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
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. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for payoffs

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 payoffs

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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