pay one's dues

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



pay one's dues (third-person singular simple present pays one's dues, present participle paying one's dues, simple past and past participle paid one's dues)

  1. To outlay money which is owed as a membership fee or price of admission.
    • 1871, Thomas Hardy, Desperate Remedies, ch. 8:
      The carrier to Casterbridge came up as Edward stepped into the road, and jumped down from the van to pay toll. . . . The carrier paid his dues.
  2. (idiomatic) To acquire status or to earn the right to enjoy certain benefits, especially through lengthy experience, hardship, or service to an organization.