Definition of pay one's dues in English:

pay one's dues

phrase

  • 1Fulfil one's obligations.

    ‘if she was the caring person she makes herself out to be she would insist on paying her dues’
    • ‘We are taught that if we work hard and pay our dues, we will be rewarded in riches and love from family and friends.’
    • ‘They do not pay their dues to society and take money away from local businesses.’
    • ‘The choir's history can quietly boast the development of soul stars like Carleen Anderson and Sam Moore, both of whom return to this album to pay their dues.’
    • ‘He pays his dues to the sport but without romance.’
    • ‘For many, today's vote was about what has to happen from now on, rather than paying their dues to factional alliances.’
    • ‘They will stand up for the silent, law-abiding majority who play by the rules and pay their dues.’
    • ‘I'd love to say we do it to pay our dues or because we love literature or even for posterity, but the truth is we review books because we're addicts.’
    1. 1.1 Experience difficulties before achieving success.
      ‘this drummer has paid his dues with the best’
      • ‘From my experience, you have to pay your dues in this game, you have to lose many times in order to be a good winner.’
      • ‘After paying his dues, Sanchez finally got his hands on the gear he needed to duplicate the sounds he was hearing in his head.’
      • ‘I have acquired some business and leadership experience; now I plan to pay my dues to acquire the practical experience and relationships to become a well-rounded school leader.’
      • ‘There's always a maturing process with bands: a period to pay their dues while they find their sound, solidify their act and just generally figure out what kind of band they're actually in.’
      • ‘He's paid his dues, he's experienced, he knows what it entails, he knows the personnel of this team.’
      • ‘You train just as long and you have to pay your dues just like in any other sport, ‘he states.’’
      • ‘Like every other success story, Mike has paid his dues.’
      • ‘I have paid my dues, produced many successful students and defined my policies so that I am respected and established.’
      • ‘And yet even today, after a decade of paying his dues, there are still afternoons when the crowd at Highpoint West refuses to buy even a single piece of the non-stick cookware he demonstrates.’
      • ‘Their reward is a job well done, but age and experience definitely count; you must pay your dues as you progress up the ladder of success.’