Meaning of “pay sb off” in the English Dictionary

"pay sb off" in British English

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pay sb off

phrasal verb with pay uk /peɪ/ us /peɪ/ verb paid, paid

If your employer pays you off, they pay you for the last time and then end your job, because you are not needed or there is not enough money to pay you in the future.

informal to give someone money so that they will not do or say something, or so that they will go away:

There were rumours that key witnesses had been paid off to keep quiet.

(Definition of “pay sb off” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"pay sb off" in Business English

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pay sb off

phrasal verb with pay uk /peɪ/ us verb paid, paid

to tell someone to leave their job and pay them what they have earned:

75 workers were paid off when the plant was closed down.

to finish paying someone the money that you owe them:

Finally he had paid off his creditors and could begin to save money.

informal to give someone money so that they will not do or say something, or so that they will go away:

Two former employees threatened to tell damaging stories to the press unless the company paid them off.

(Definition of “pay sb off” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)