verb (used with object)
to settle (a debt, obligation, etc.), as by transferring money or goods, or by doing something:
Please pay your bill.
to give over (a certain amount of money) in exchange for something:
He paid twenty dollars for the shirt.
to transfer money as compensation or recompense for work done or services rendered; to satisfy the claims of (a person, organization, etc.), as by giving money due:
He paid me for my work.
to defray (cost or expense).
to give compensation for.
to yield a recompense or return to; be profitable to:
Your training will pay you well in the future.
to yield as a return:
The stock paid six percent last year.
to requite, as for good, harm, or an offense:
How can I pay her for her kindness and generosity?
to give or render (attention, respects, compliments, etc.), as if due or fitting.
to make (a call, visit, etc.).
to suffer in retribution; undergo:
You'll pay the penalty for your stubbornness!
Nautical. to let (a ship) fall off to leeward.
verb (used without object)
to transfer money, goods, etc., as in making a purchase or settling a debt.
to discharge a debt or obligation.
to yield a return, profit, or advantage; be worthwhile:
It pays to be courteous.
to give compensation, as for damage or loss sustained.
to suffer or be punished for something:
The murderer paid with his life.
1150–1200; Middle English payen
< Old French paier
< Medieval Latin pācāre
to satisfy, settle (a debt), Latin:
to pacify (by force of arms). See peace
discharge, liquidate. 3.
reward, reimburse, indemnify. 19.
remuneration, emolument, fee, honorarium, income, allowance. Pay, wage
or wages, salary, stipend
are terms for amounts of money or equivalent benefits, usually given at a regular rate or at regular intervals, in return for services. Pay
is the general term: His pay went up every year. Wage
usually designates the pay given at an hourly, daily, or weekly rate, often for manual or semiskilled work; wages
usually means the cumulative amount paid at regular intervals for such work: an hourly wage; weekly wages. Salary
designates a fixed, periodic payment for regular work or services, usually computed on a monthly or yearly basis: an annual salary paid in twelve equal monthly installments. Stipend
designates a periodic payment, either as a professional salary or, more commonly, as a salary in return for special services or as a grant in support of creative or scholarly work: an annual stipend for work as a consultant; a stipend to cover living expenses.