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English definition of “payback”

payback

noun  /ˈpeɪˌbæk/ us  

payback noun (PUNISHMENT)

[C/U] an action that punishes someone for something bad that the person did to you; revenge: [U] They view the proposed initiative as payback to those senators who have not shown enough Republican loyalty.

payback noun (MONEY RETURN)

[C usually sing] the activity of giving money that is owed, or of getting back something for money spent: He'll have a 20-year payback on his investment, and the improvements should last another 20 years after that.
(Definition of payback from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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