pay - definition in the American English Dictionary - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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English definition of “pay”

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pay

verb  us   /peɪ/ (past tense and past participle paid  /peɪd/ )

pay verb (GIVE MONEY FOR)

[I/T] to give money to someone for goods or services: [T] We paid a lot of money for that table. [I] Would you prefer to pay by credit card? [I] fig. We all eventually pay for our mistakes (= suffer or are punished because of our mistakes). [I/T] To pay is also to give someone or something money for an amount you owe: [T] We’ve got to pay the rent. [T] We have so many bills to pay.

pay verb (GIVE EARNINGS)

[I/T] to give money to someone that the person has earned for work done: [T] We pay our salespeople a salary plus a bonus based on their sales. [I] Construction jobs generally pay well.

pay verb (PROFIT)

[I] to give a profit, advantage, or benefit: [+ to infinitive] It never pays to take risks where human safety is concerned. The moral is, "Crime doesn’t pay."

pay verb (PROVIDE)

[T] to provide or do something: Please pay attention. It’s always nice to be paid a compliment.
pay
noun [U]  us   /peɪ/
I asked the boss for a raise in pay.
payable
adjective [not gradable]  us   /ˈpeɪ·ə·bəl/
Please make your check payable to Broadway Antiques.
(Definition of pay from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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