pay off
a) To bribe, especially to deter oversight.

I thought the guards would give us trouble, but apparently he had paid them off.

b) To become worthwhile; to produce a net benefit.

Her years of Spanish classes finally paid off when she found herself in Mexico and realized she could communicate with people.


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  • pay off — {v. phr.} 1. To pay the wages of. * /The men were paid off just before quitting time, the last day before the holiday./ 2. To pay and discharge from a job. * /When the building was completed he paid off the laborers./ 3. To hurt (someone) who has …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • pay off — {v. phr.} 1. To pay the wages of. * /The men were paid off just before quitting time, the last day before the holiday./ 2. To pay and discharge from a job. * /When the building was completed he paid off the laborers./ 3. To hurt (someone) who has …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • pay off — vt 1: to pay (a debt or credit) in full the loan was paid off 2: bribe Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996 …   Law dictionary

  • pay off — (something) to pay all of a debt. It took her six years to pay off her student loan. I guess I can afford a new car, but it s a lot of money and it s not easy to pay it off …   New idioms dictionary

  • pay-off — s.m.inv. ES ingl. 1. TS pubbl. frase finale di un annuncio o di un comunicato pubblicitario che riassume ed evidenzia il messaggio di vendita del prodotto 2. TS econ. risultato economico di un operazione 3. TS sport obiettivo che si intende… …   Dizionario italiano

  • pay off — ► pay off 1) dismiss with a final payment. 2) informal yield good results. Main Entry: ↑pay …   English terms dictionary

  • pay|off — «PAY F, OF», noun, adjective. –n. 1. the act of paying wages. 2. the time of such payment. 3. a) the returns, as from an enterprise or specific action; result: »You will see the payoff immediately…without need for specially trained operators… …   Useful english dictionary

  • pay off — (someone) to give someone money illegally to get them to do what you want. The pair had paid off local police to protect their drug selling operation …   New idioms dictionary

  • pay-off — index commission (fee) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • pay-off — ► NOUN informal 1) a payment, especially a bribe. 2) the return on investment or on a bet. 3) a final outcome …   English terms dictionary

  • pay off — verb 1. yield a profit or result (Freq. 4) His efforts finally paid off • Hypernyms: ↑yield, ↑pay, ↑bear • Verb Frames: Something s 2. eliminate by paying off ( …   Useful english dictionary

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