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[ri-pey] /rɪˈpeɪ/
verb (used with object), repaid, repaying.
to pay back or refund, as money.
to make return for:
She repaid the compliment with a smile.
to make return to in any way:
We can never repay you for your help.
to return:
to repay a visit.
verb (used without object), repaid, repaying.
to make repayment or return.
Origin of repay
1520-30; < Middle French repaier. See re-, pay1
Related forms
repayable, adjective
repayability, noun
repayment, noun
nonrepayable, adjective
nonrepaying, adjective
unrepaid, adjective
unrepayable, adjective
well-repaid, adjective
1. reimburse, indemnify. 3. requite, reward. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for repay
  • And it does all this with billions of money that could be used to, say, repay the government.
  • Ethically and practically, you have to repay the money.
  • Special funds repay herders for lost livestock-if no lion is harmed.
  • The cities and building owners will repay the loans from monies saved by reduced energy costs.
  • Having run up a debt that it would never be able to repay, the country faced a number of potential outcomes, all unpleasant.
  • Fossil fuels are so energy dense that they quickly repay all investment.
  • When the jobs went away the ability to repay those loans was cut off at the knees.
  • As a result, loans were given to borrowers who could not repay, and ultimately defaulted.
  • Defaulting on a loan that you have the resources to repay is, of course, morally wrong.
  • One is that investors, worried about the government's ability to repay the additional debt, will drive up interest rates.
British Dictionary definitions for repay


verb -pays, -paying, -paid
to pay back (money) to (a person); refund or reimburse
to make a return for (something) by way of compensation: to repay kindness
Derived Forms
repayable, adjective
repayment, noun
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 repay

mid-15c., from Old French repaier "pay back, give in return," from re- "back" (see re-) + payer "to pay" (see pay (v.)). Related: Repaid; repaying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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