Definition of pay someone back in English:

pay someone back

phrasal verb

  • 1Repay a loan to someone.

    ‘a regular amount was deducted from my wages to pay her back’
    • ‘I promise to pay you back in the middle of August.’
    • ‘If I can't make the moolah, how am I going to pay you back for my education?’
    • ‘The Irishman pays him back with interest in his own money.’
    • ‘Oh, and next time you pay her back on a loan ask for a receipt nicely.’
    • ‘He had been offered a job locally and said he wanted to pay us back.’
    • ‘‘I thought it might be quicker if I went and got one myself,’ I said. ‘Do you mind paying me back out of petty cash?’
    • ‘He'd obviously taken it from somebody else's account to pay us back, I think that's what had been happening.’
    • ‘Don't worry Kate, please, he said it was only a loan and we are going to pay him back.’
    • ‘My sister paid the wages of the funeral, so I have to pay her back.’
    • ‘They can always pay us back when things get better.’
    repay, pay off, give back, return, remunerate, compensate, make amends to, make restitution to, reimburse, recoup, refund, restore, make good, indemnify, requite
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Take revenge on someone.
      ‘when someone does you wrong, the first instinct is to pay them back for hurting you’
      • ‘And somewhere down the road, she will be paying me back for all 118 guests who didn't show up.’
      • ‘He will not only be happy to explain everything, but to find some way to pay me back for all this.’
      • ‘I think my body is paying me back for subjecting it to a years' worth of hard shift work.’
      • ‘This mass culture exacts a price, and people are paid back for what they do - or don't do - to the environment.’
      • ‘He added: ‘I'd like to think the games I have played for Walter have been my way of paying him back.’’
      • ‘Then the universe or whatever is out there pays me back by making bad things happen to me and the people around me.’
      get one's revenge on, be revenged on, revenge oneself on, give someone their just deserts, reciprocate, punish, avenge oneself on, hit back at, get back at, get, get even with, settle a score with, settle the score with, settle accounts with, pay someone out, retaliate against, take reprisals against, exact retribution on
      View synonyms