pay Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “pay” in the English Dictionary

"pay" in British English

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payverb

uk   us   /peɪ/ (paid, paid)

pay verb (BUY)

A1 [I or T] to give ​money to someone for something you ​want to ​buy or for ​servicesprovided: How much did you pay for the ​tickets? I pay my ​taxes. [+ two objects] I'll pay you the ​fiver backtomorrow. I paid the ​driver (in/with)cash. Would you ​prefer to pay with/bycash, ​cheque, or ​creditcard? [+ obj + to infinitive ] I ​think we'll need to pay a ​builder to take this ​wall down. Did Linda pay you forlooking after her ​cats while she was away? I paid (out) a lot of ​money to get the ​washingmachinefixed and it still doesn't ​work!pay for itself If something pays for itself, it ​works so well that it ​saves the same ​amount of ​money that it ​cost: The ​advertising should pay for itself.
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pay verb (WORK)

B1 [I or T] to give ​money to someone for ​work that they have done: The ​company pays ​itsinterns $4,000 a ​month. We pay €200 a ​day for this ​kind of ​work. Accountancy may be ​boring but at least it pays well. Most of these women are very poorly paid and ​work in ​terribleconditions.
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pay verb (PROFIT)

[I] to give a ​profit or ​advantage to someone or something: It never pays to take ​risks where ​humansafety is ​concerned.
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pay verb (GIVE)

C2 [T] to give or do something: The ​commander paid tribute to the ​courage of his ​troops. It's always ​nice to be paid a ​compliment. A ​crowd of ​mournersgathered to pay theirrespects to the ​dead man.pay attention (to sth) B1 to ​watch, ​listen to, or ​think about something ​carefully: You weren't paying ​attention to what I was saying.pay (sb/sth) a call/visit B2 to ​visit a ​person or ​place, usually for a ​shorttime: I'll pay you a ​call when I'm in the ​area. We ​thought we'd pay a ​visit to the ​museum while we were in Lisbon. If you ​leaveyouraddress, I'll pay a ​call on you when I'm in the ​area.
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paynoun [U]

uk   us   /peɪ/
B1 the ​money you ​receive for doing a ​job: It's a ​nicejob but the pay is ​appalling.be in the pay of sb to ​work for someone, ​especiallysecretly
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(Definition of pay from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pay" in American English

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payverb

 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 ​creditcard? [I] fig. We all ​eventually pay for ​ourmistakes (= ​suffer or are ​punished because of ​ourmistakes). [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 ​oursalespeople a ​salaryplus a ​bonusbased on ​theirsales. [I] Construction ​jobsgenerally pay well.

pay verb (PROFIT)

[I] to give a ​profit, ​advantage, or ​benefit: [+ to infinitive] It never pays to take ​risks where ​humansafety 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 ​yourcheck payable to Broadway Antiques.
(Definition of pay from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"pay" in Business English

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payverb

uk   us   /peɪ/ (paid, paid)
[I or T] to give ​money to someone for a ​product or ​service: pay for sth Who paid for the ​meal?pay sb to do sth We'll need to pay a ​builder to take this ​wall down.pay sb for sth How much did they pay you for the ​computer?pay sb for doing sth Did the ​company pay you for doing the ​quote?pay in/with sth They paid for the ​car in ​cash.pay to do sth I paid a lot of ​money to get the washing ​machinefixed and it still doesn't ​work!pay a deposit You will need to pay a ​smalldeposit if you want us to ​keep the radio for you. pay by ​cash/​cheque/​creditcard
pay for itself if something pays for itself, it ​works so well that it ​saves the same ​amount of ​money that it ​cost: The ​renewableenergysystem will have paid for itself within ten ​years.
[I or T] to give ​money to someone for ​work that they have done: He hates his ​job, but at least it pays well. Most of these women are very poorly paid and ​work in terrible ​conditions.pay $20/€50/£5, etc. for sth They pay $30 an hour for ​editingwork. I don't get paid until the end of the month.
[T] to give someone ​money that you ​owe them: pay bills/rent I haven't got enough ​money to pay the ​rent this month.pay a debt/fine He was ​ordered by the ​court to pay a $100,000 ​fine. Will I have to payincome tax on any ​monies I receive?pay sb sth We haven't yet paid the ​contractor what we ​owe him for the ​work.
[I] COMMERCE if a ​business pays, it ​produces a ​profit: make sth pay The cinema will be ​closed down at the end of October, as it has ​failed to ​attract enough ​patrons to make it pay.
[I] to give an ​advantage to someone or something: pay to do sth When it comes to your ​retirement, it doesn't pay to take too many ​risks.
[T] FINANCE if a ​bankaccount or an ​investment pays a particular ​amount of ​money or ​interest, the ​person who ​owns it will receive that ​amount of ​money or ​interest: The ​account will pay 4% ​gross on ​creditbalances.pay interest/a return The ​bank will pay ​interest if your ​account is in ​credit.
pay dividends if something you do pays ​dividends, it has good ​results at a ​time in the future: The ​companyfound that the ​extratraining really did pay ​dividends.
pay its way if a ​business pays its way, it makes at least the same ​amount of ​money as it ​costs to ​operate: When Swan Lake ​reached the West End, there had to be eight ​performances a week for the ​production to pay its way.
pay over the odds (for sth) UK informal to pay more for something than it is really ​worth: Small ​businesses have always paid over the ​odds for ​officesupplies.
pay the price to ​experience the ​badresult of something you have done or that someone else has done: It is inexcusable for ​students to be paying the ​price for ​backroomdeals in the ​studentloanindustry.
pay through the nose (for sth) informal to pay too much ​money for something: There's no ​point in getting a ​bargainflight only to pay through the nose for ​carhire.
pay top dollar (for sth) US to pay a lot of ​money for something: Many ​wealthybusinessmen are prepared to pay ​topdollar for an ​exclusiveproperty in this ​area.
pay your way to pay for yourself rather than ​allowing someone else to pay: I got a ​part-timejob to ​help pay my way through university.

paynoun [U]

uk   us   /peɪ/
the ​money you receive for doing a ​job: There has been a long-running ​dispute over pay and ​workingconditions. Workers threatened to ​strike over the low pay of the ​supportstaff. They ​agreed to give six months off ​work with full pay for ​staff whose ​jobs are to be ​outsourced. The ​current starting pay is about $500 a week.a pay award/deal/settlement Councils will have to ​fund the teachers' pay ​award from within their own ​resources.a pay cut Employees have a ​choice between taking a pay ​cut or ​working more.a pay hike/increase Pilots have received ​annual pay ​increases of only 1.5% since the ​ruling. hourly/monthly/​weekly pay overtime/​retirement pay holiday/​vacation pay redundancy/​severance pay executive pay
be in the pay of sb to ​work for someone, especially secretly: Doctors in the pay of ​drugcompanies were ​accused yesterday of exaggerating the ​benefits of antidepressant ​drugs for children.
(Definition of pay from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“pay” in Business English

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