pay Definition

  • 1give (someone) money that is due for work done, goods received, or a debt incurred
  • 2give (a sum of money) in exchange for goods or services
  • 3suffer a misfortune or penalty as a consequence of an action

Using pay: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "pay" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I get paid on the last day of every month.

  • Example

    I'll pay you back next week.

  • Example

    I need to pay the rent by Friday.

  • Example

    She paid $50 for the concert ticket.

pay Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using pay

  • pay an excessive amount of money for something


    I had to pay through the nose for that car repair.

  • pay one's dues

    work hard and gain experience in order to achieve success


    She paid her dues as an intern before being offered a full-time job.

  • listen to, watch, or consider someone or something carefully


    You need to pay attention in class if you want to pass the exam.

Phrases with pay

  • produce a beneficial result; succeed


    All her hard work paid off when she got the promotion.

  • pay up

    pay what is owed, especially when it has been delayed or contested


    If you don't pay up by the end of the week, we'll take legal action.

  • suffer the unpleasant consequences of one's actions


    He knew he was taking a risk, but he wasn't prepared to pay the price if things went wrong.

Origins of pay

from Old French 'paiier', from Latin 'pacare', meaning 'appease'


Summary: pay in Brief

The verb 'pay' [peɪ] refers to giving money for work done, goods received, or debts incurred. It can also mean suffering a misfortune or penalty as a consequence of an action. Examples include 'I get paid on the last day of every month,' and 'She paid $50 for the concert ticket.' Phrases like 'pay off' denote success, while 'pay through the nose' implies paying an excessive amount of money.

How do native speakers use this expression?