Did you know?

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

pay back - definition and synonyms

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. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see 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
  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 wages.

  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

unicorn

a start-up … whose value has reached more than one billion US dollars

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

crafternoon

an afternoon full of crafts

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