Did you know?

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

repay - definition and synonyms


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.



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.

verb [transitive] repay pronunciation in American English /rɪˈpeɪ/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlerepaying
past tenserepaid
past participlerepaid
  1. 1
    to give someone money that you have borrowed from them
    The loan must be repaid in full.
    When do you think you will be able to repay us?
  2. 2
    to reward someone who has helped you or been kind to you
    How will I ever be able to repay you?
    They would find a way of repaying the family’s kindness.
    repay someone for something: We’ll never be able to repay you for everything you’ve done for us.
    1. a.
      used for saying that someone is behaving in a way that shows they are not grateful for your help, kindness, or love
      She had tried to be a good wife, and he repaid her by cheating on her.
  3. 3
    formal to be worth the time or effort needed to do something
    It’s a fascinating museum, and certainly repays a visit.


… a feeling of pleasure you get from spending time doing what you want and not worrying about what other people are doing or saying

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day

Mardi Gras

shrove tuesday

Open Dictionary

brain fade

a temporary inability to think clearly or remember information

add a word


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