Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “pay”


verb [I/T] (GIVE EARNINGS)   /peɪ/ (past tense and past participle paid  /peɪd/)
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    /peɪ/ noun [U] I asked the boss for a raise in pay.
(Definition of pay verb (GIVE EARNINGS) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of pay

Definitions of “pay” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the skill with which something was made or done

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More