Pay Definition

Define what is Pay?

1. pay, remuneration, salary, wage, earnings (noun)

something that remunerates.

  • wages were paid by check.
  • he wasted his pay on drink.
  • they saved a quarter of all their earnings.

regular payment noun
a payment made at regular times.


combat pay noun
extra pay for soldiers engaged in active combat.

double time noun
a doubled wage (for working overtime).

found noun
food and lodging provided in addition to money.

half-pay noun
reduced wage paid to someone who is not working full time.

living wage noun
a wage sufficient for a worker and family to subsist comfortably.

merit pay noun
extra pay awarded to an employee on the basis of merit (especially to school teachers).

minimum wage noun
the lowest wage that an employer is allowed to pay; determined by contract or by law.

pay envelope, pay packet noun
wages enclosed in an envelope for distribution to the wage earner.

sick pay noun
wages paid to an employee who is on sick leave.

strike pay noun
money paid to strikers from union funds.

take-home pay noun
what is left of your pay after deductions for taxes and dues and insurance etc.

2. pay (verb)

give money, usually in exchange for goods or services.

  • I paid four dollars for this sandwich.
  • Pay the waitress, please.

give verb
transfer possession of something concrete or abstract to somebody.


subsidise, subsidize verb
secure the assistance of by granting a subsidy, as of nations or military forces.

finance verb
obtain or provide money for.

contribute, put up verb

remunerate, recompense, compensate verb
make payment to; compensate.

overpay verb
pay too much.

underpay verb
pay too little.

prepay verb
pay for something before receiving it.

go Dutch verb
share expenses equally and split the cost of something.

recompense, compensate, indemnify, repair verb
make amends for; pay compensation for.

tithe verb
pay a tenth of one's income, especially to the church.

remit verb
send (money) in payment.

pay off, redeem verb
pay off (loans or promissory notes).

expend, spend, drop verb
pay out.

bribe, grease one's palms, buy, corrupt verb
make illegal payments to in exchange for favors or influence.

give back, refund, repay, return verb
pay back.

foot, pick verb
pay for something.

disburse, pay out verb
expend, as from a fund.

charge verb
pay with a credit card; pay with plastic money; postpone payment by recording a purchase as a debt.

pay cash verb
pay (for something) with cash.

defray verb
bear the expenses of.

kick back verb
pay a kickback; make an illegal payment.

prefer verb
give preference to one creditor over another.

3. pay, give (verb)

convey, as of a compliment, regards, attention, etc.; bestow.

  • Don't pay him any mind.
  • give the orders.
  • Give him my best regards.
  • pay attention.
Synonyms: give

communicate, intercommunicate verb
transmit thoughts or feelings.


offer, extend verb
offer verbally.

4. ante up, pay up, pay (verb)

cancel or discharge a debt.

  • pay up, please!.
Synonyms: ante up, pay up
Antonyms: default, default on (verb)

fail to pay up.


pay verb
discharge or settle.


liquidate, pay off verb
eliminate by paying off (debts).

5. pay, bear, yield (verb)

bring in.

  • interest-bearing accounts.
  • How much does this savings certificate pay annually?.
Synonyms: bear, yield

earn, realise, bring in, pull in, realize, gain, make, take in, clear verb
earn on some commercial or business transaction; earn as salary or wages.


net, clear verb
yield as a net profit.

pay off verb
yield a profit or result.

6. make up, pay off, compensate, pay (verb)

do or give something to somebody in return.

  • Does she pay you for the work you are doing?.

settle verb
dispose of; make a financial settlement.

7. devote, pay, give (verb)


  • give thought to.
  • give priority to.
  • pay attention to.
Synonyms: devote, give

cerebrate, cogitate, think verb
use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments.

8. pay (verb)

be worth it.

  • It pays to go through the trouble.

Be verb
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun).

9. pay (verb)


  • pay a visit.
  • pay a call.

make verb
perform or carry out.

10. pay (verb)

bear (a cost or penalty), in recompense for some action.

  • You'll pay for this!.
  • She had to pay the penalty for speaking out rashly.
  • You'll pay for this opinion later.

tolerate, brook, endure, stomach, abide, digest, stick out, bear, put up, suffer, stand, support verb
put up with something or somebody unpleasant.


get one's lumps, take one's lumps verb
suffer the results or consequences of one's behavior or actions.

11. pay (verb)

make a compensation for.

  • a favor that cannot be paid back.

requite, repay verb
make repayment for or return something.

12. pay (verb)

discharge or settle.

  • pay a debt.
  • pay an obligation.

settle verb
dispose of; make a financial settlement.


ante up, pay up, pay verb
cancel or discharge a debt.

Nearby Terms

pay as you earn (noun)
the British system of withholding tax

pay back (verb)
act or give recompense in recognition of someone's behavior or actions

pay cash (verb)
pay (for something) with cash

pay claim (noun)
the wage demanded from management for workers by their union representatives

pay cut (noun)
the act of reducing a salary

pay dirt (noun)
ore that yields a substantial profit to the miner

pay envelope (noun)
wages enclosed in an envelope for distribution to the wage earner

pay for (verb)
have as a guest

pay heed (verb)
give heed (to)

pay off (verb)
yield a profit or result

pay out (verb)
expend, as from a fund

pay packet (noun)
wages enclosed in an envelope for distribution to the wage earner

pay rate (noun)
amount of money received per unit time

pay up (verb)
cancel or discharge a debt

pay-phone (noun)
a coin-operated telephone