Definition of “payback” - English Dictionary

(Definition of “payback” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“payback” in American English

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us /ˈpeɪˌbæk/

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)

“payback” in Business English

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paybacknoun [ C or U ]

/ˈpeɪbæk/ uk us

FINANCE the profit received from an investment or the time that it takes to receive the same amount that was invested:

Shareholders are awaiting a cash payback from the deal.
a payback on sth You should have a 20-year payback on your investment in solar panels.

an advantage that you get from something:

payback for sth The payback for reorganization should be increased productivity.
payback time

a situation in which someone will have to suffer for the way that they have behaved in the past:

The union has been treated very badly, and now it's payback time, and strike action will go ahead.

(Definition of “payback” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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