Meaning of PAY in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ peɪ ]

( pays, paying, paid)

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.


When you pay an amount of money to someone, you give it to them because you are buying something from them or because you owe it to them. When you pay something such as a bill or a debt, you pay the amount that you owe.

Accommodation is free–all you pay for is breakfast and dinner...

We paid £35 for each ticket...

The wealthier may have to pay a little more in taxes...

He proposes that businesses should pay taxes to the federal government...

You can pay by credit card.

VERB : V for n , V n for n , V n , V n to n , V adv / prep , also V to-inf , V n to-inf , V


When you are paid , you get your wages or salary from your employer.

The lawyer was paid a huge salary...

I get paid monthly...

They could wander where they wished and take jobs from who paid best.

VERB : be/get V-ed n , get/be V-ed adv , V adv


Your pay is the money that you get from your employer as wages or salary.

...their complaints about their pay and conditions.

...the workers’ demand for a twenty per cent pay rise.



If you are paid to do something, someone gives you some money so that you will help them or perform some service for them.

Students were paid substantial sums of money to do nothing all day but lie in bed...

If you help me, I’ll pay you anything.

VERB : be V-ed to-inf , V n n


If a government or organization makes someone pay for something, it makes them responsible for providing the money for it, for example by increasing prices or taxes.

...a legally binding international treaty that establishes who must pay for environmental damage...

If you don’t subsidize ballet and opera, seat prices will have to go up to pay for it.

VERB : V for n , V for n , also V


If a job, deal, or investment pays a particular amount, it brings you that amount of money.

We’re stuck in jobs that don’t pay very well...

The account does not pay interest on a credit balance.

VERB : V adv , V n


If a job, deal, or investment pays , it brings you a profit or earns you some money.

They owned land; they made it pay.



When you pay money into a bank account, you put the money in the account.

He paid £20 into his savings account...

There is nothing more annoying than queueing when you only want to pay in a few cheques.

VERB : V n into n , V n with adv


If a course of action pays , it results in some advantage or benefit for you.

It pays to invest in protective clothing...

He talked of defending small nations, of ensuring that aggression does not pay.

VERB : it V to-inf , V


If you pay for something that you do or have, you suffer as a result of it.

Britain was to pay dearly for its lack of resolve...

Why should I pay the penalty for somebody else’s mistake?...

She feels it’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of living in this delightful house.

VERB : V for n , V n for n , V n for n , also V


You use pay with some nouns, for example in the expressions pay a visit and pay attention , to indicate that something is given or done.

Do pay us a visit next time you’re in Birmingham...

He felt a heavy bump, but paid no attention to it...

He had nothing to do with arranging the funeral, but came along to pay his last respects.

VERB : V n n , V n to n , V n


Pay television consists of programmes and channels which are not part of a public broadcasting system, and for which people have to pay.

The company has set up joint-venture pay-TV channels in Belgium, Spain, and Germany.



see also paid , sick pay


If something that you buy or invest in pays for itself after a period of time, the money you gain from it, or save because you have it, is greater than the amount you originally spent or invested. in energy efficiency that would pay for themselves within five years.

PHRASE : V inflects


If you pay your way , you have or earn enough money to pay for what you need, without needing other people to give or lend you money.

I went to college anyway, as a part-time student, paying my own way...

The British film industry could not pay its way without a substantial export market.

PHRASE : V inflects


to pay dividends: see dividend

to pay through the nose: see nose

he who pays the piper calls the tune: see piper

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.