pay back

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  • IPA(key): /peɪ bæk/
  • (file)


pay back (third-person singular simple present pays back, present participle paying back, simple past and past participle paid back)

  1. (transitive) To pay (a debt or the lender) so as to provide the entire amount of money owed.
    • 2008 November 21, Graham Linehan, The IT Crowd, Season 3, Episode 1:
      Douglas: Roy, give me £20.
      Roy: What?
      Douglas: Give me £20. I'll pay you back.
    He paid her back with interest, giving her 3 and an NFT for the $6 he'd borrowed last week.
    He paid back all the money he owed her, with interest.
  2. (figuratively) To avenge, to exact revenge.
    He paid her back with interest, avenging his father's murder with nine degrees of reprisal.

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