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payroll ‎(plural payrolls)

  1. A list of employees who receive salary or wages, together with the amounts due to each.
  2. The total sum of money paid to employees.
  3. (accounting) The calculation of salaries and wages and the deduction of taxes etc.; the department in a company responsible for this.
  4. (euphemistic) Bribes paid to people
    • 1957, Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged:
      I know that the deal started with the boys in Santiago, because they’ve been on the d’Anconia pay roll for centuries — well, no, ‘pay roll’ is an honorable word, it would be more exact to say that d’Anconia Copper has been paying them protection money for centuries — isn't that what your gangsters call it?
    • 1972, The Godfather:
      We can spread a rumor this cop was dirty. Look, Tom, we have newspaper people on the payroll, don't we?


Related terms[edit]



payroll ‎(third-person singular simple present payrolls, present participle payrolling, simple past and past participle payrolled)

  1. (transitive) To place on a payroll.
    • 1985, The Code of Federal regulations of the United States of America (page 37)
      Grantees may elect to payroll the enrollees through their own payroll system if the payroll system is consistent with regulations contained herein.