Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

pay back

 - definition
Close

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Close

Thesaurus

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary entries. Click on the T button in an entry to review the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

more
phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
Close
present tense
I/you/we/theypay back
he/she/itpays back
present participlepaying back
past tensepaid back
past participlepaid back

Related dictionary definitions

  1. 1
    to give someone the same amount of money that you borrowed from them

    I'll be able to pay you back next week.

    I don't think we can afford to pay the full amount back now.

    pay someone something back:

    She'll pay us the rest back when she gets her paycheck.

  2. 2
    to do something bad to someone because they have done something bad to you
    pay someone back for something:

    She knew how to pay them back for the trouble they had caused.

See also main entry: pay

mom jeans

a style of loose-fitting jeans with a high waist, often considered unfashionable

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

endies

Employed but with No Disposable Income or Savings: people who are in work but only earn just enough to live on

add a word

Blog

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog