What does PAY mean?

Definitions for PAYpeɪ

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word PAY.

Princeton's WordNet

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

    something that remunerates

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

  2. pay(verb)

    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services

    "I paid four dollars for this sandwich"; "Pay the waitress, please"

  3. give, pay(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"

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

    cancel or discharge a debt

    "pay up, please!"

  5. yield, pay, bear(verb)

    bring in

    "interest-bearing accounts"; "How much does this savings certificate pay annually?"

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

    do or give something to somebody in return

    "Does she pay you for the work you are doing?"

  7. give, pay, devote(verb)


    "give thought to"; "give priority to"; "pay attention to"

  8. pay(verb)

    be worth it

    "It pays to go through the trouble"

  9. pay(verb)


    "pay a visit"; "pay a call"

  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"

  11. pay(verb)

    make a compensation for

    "a favor that cannot be paid back"

  12. pay(verb)

    discharge or settle

    "pay a debt"; "pay an obligation"


  1. pay(Noun)

    Money given in return for work; salary or wages.

    Many employers have rules designed to keep employees from comparing their pays.

  2. pay(Verb)

    To give money in exchange for goods or services.

    He paid him to clean the place up.

  3. pay(Verb)

    To be profitable.

    Crime doesnu2019t pay.

  4. pay(Verb)

    To be profitable for.

    It didn't pay him to keep the store open any more.

  5. pay(Verb)

    To give (something else than money).

    To pay attention

  6. pay(Verb)

    To discharge an obligation or debt.

    He was allowed to go as soon as he paid.

  7. pay(Verb)

    To suffer consequences.

    He paid for his fun in the sun with a terrible sunburn.

  8. Origin: From payen, from paier, from pācāre "to settle, satisfy" from paco. Displaced native yelden (from gieldan), scotten (from gescot).

Webster Dictionary

  1. Pay(verb)

    to cover, as bottom of a vessel, a seam, a spar, etc., with tar or pitch, or waterproof composition of tallow, resin, etc.; to smear

  2. Pay(verb)

    to satisfy, or content; specifically, to satisfy (another person) for service rendered, property delivered, etc.; to discharge one's obligation to; to make due return to; to compensate; to remunerate; to recompense; to requite; as, to pay workmen or servants

  3. Pay(verb)

    hence, figuratively: To compensate justly; to requite according to merit; to reward; to punish; to retort or retaliate upon

  4. Pay(verb)

    to discharge, as a debt, demand, or obligation, by giving or doing what is due or required; to deliver the amount or value of to the person to whom it is owing; to discharge a debt by delivering (money owed)

  5. Pay(verb)

    to discharge or fulfill, as a duy; to perform or render duty, as that which has been promised

  6. Pay(verb)

    to give or offer, without an implied obligation; as, to pay attention; to pay a visit

  7. Pay(verb)

    to give a recompense; to make payment, requital, or satisfaction; to discharge a debt

  8. Pay(verb)

    hence, to make or secure suitable return for expense or trouble; to be remunerative or profitable; to be worth the effort or pains required; as, it will pay to ride; it will pay to wait; politeness always pays

  9. Pay(noun)

    satisfaction; content

  10. Pay(noun)

    an equivalent or return for money due, goods purchased, or services performed; salary or wages for work or service; compensation; recompense; payment; hire; as, the pay of a clerk; the pay of a soldier

  11. Origin: [OF. peier, fr. L. picare to pitch, pix pitch: cf. OF. peiz pitch, F. poix. See Pitch a black substance.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Pay

    pā, v.t. to satisfy or set at rest: to discharge, as a debt or a duty: to requite with what is deserved: to reward: to punish: to give, render.—v.i. to recompense: to be worth one's trouble: to be profitable:—pa.t. and pa.p. paid.—n. that which satisfies: money given for service: salary, wages.—adj. Pay′able, that may be paid: that ought to be paid: due.—ns. Pay′-bill, a statement of moneys to be paid, to workmen, soldiers, &c.; Pay′-clerk, a clerk who pays wages; Pay′-day, a regular day for payment, as of wages; Pay′-dirt, -grav′el, gravel or sand containing enough gold to be worth working; Payee′, one to whom money is paid; Pay′er; Pay′-list, -roll, a list of persons entitled to pay, with the amounts due to each; Pay′master, the master who pays: an officer in the army or navy whose duty it is to pay soldiers, &c.; Pay′ment, the act of paying: the discharge of a debt by money or its equivalent in value: that which is paid: recompense: reward: punishment; Pay′-off′ice, the place where payments are made; Full′-pay, the whole amount of wages, &c., without deductions; Half′-pay (see Half).—Pay down, to pay in cash on the spot; Pay for, to make amends for: to bear the expense of; Pay off, to discharge: to take revenge upon: to requite: (naut.) to fall away to leeward; Pay out, to cause to run out, as rope; Pay round, to turn the ship's head; Pay the piper, to have all expenses to pay.—In the pay of, hired by. [Fr. payer—L. pacāre, to appease; cf. pax, peace.]

  2. Pay

    pā, v.t. (naut., and in the proverb 'the devil to pay') to smear with tar, pitch, &c. [Perh. through O. Fr. peier (Sp. empegar) from L. picāre, to pitch.]

Suggested Resources

  1. PAY

    What does PAY stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the PAY acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'PAY' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #627

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'PAY' in Written Corpus Frequency: #316

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'PAY' in Nouns Frequency: #1022

  4. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'PAY' in Verbs Frequency: #55

Anagrams for PAY »

  1. APY

  2. Pya

  3. Yap


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of PAY in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of PAY in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. President Obama:

    I gotta pay our bills.

  2. Dan Bolser:

    Pay? I've forgotten how!

  3. Prime Minister Hun Sen:

    We have to pay the price.

  4. Donald Trump:

    It’s called pay for play.

  5. Jennifer Aniston:

    [I] just don't pay attention.

Images & Illustrations of PAY


Translations for PAY

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for PAY »


Find a translation for the PAY definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these PAY definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"PAY." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 26 Apr. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/PAY>.

Are we missing a good definition for PAY? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for PAY:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.