Definition of payback in US English:



  • 1Financial return or reward, especially profit equal to the initial outlay of an investment.

    ‘a long time lag between investment and payback’
    • ‘Life-cycle cost analyses show a payback on these capital investments of less than 14 years.’
    • ‘The energy payback was calculated at 24 percent annual return on investment.’
    • ‘Thus, I believe the monthly wage bill contributes just as much to their problems as the payback on investment.’
    • ‘This is the auto industry's insistence on extremely short payback times for any new IT proposals.’
    • ‘Give things time to show payback or return on your initial investment.’
    • ‘Studies have shown education to be the best investment any government can make in terms of long term payback.’
    • ‘Businesses often look for a two to three-year payback on capital investments.’
    • ‘It's also payback time for the investment that has gone into the vessel.’
    • ‘For example, replacing an older chiller with a new, more efficient model will offer a fairly quick payback.’
    • ‘When rebates and operating cost savings are added in, payback can often be very respectable.’
    • ‘It is easy to calculate cost and payback, and it is easy to manage.’
    • ‘She declines to discuss return on investment, but insists payback will come.’
    • ‘There is considerable payback to optimizing the cost and performance of storing data.’
    • ‘That was payback for the investment, but playing in Scotland, those costs were unsustainable.’
    • ‘The free market is not interested in new technologies if there is no obvious payback.’
    • ‘He adds that cost savings of such solutions have very fast payback times.’
    • ‘The payback for investing in local ad equipment and sales comes within eight to nine months.’
    • ‘The end result is a more scalable solution that can deliver rapid payback and greater carrier profitability.’
    • ‘The reasoning was that higher cost deserved higher payback.’
    • ‘Here's a case where doing the right thing also has an immediate financial payback.’
    financial gain, gain, return, returns, dividend, interest, yield, surplus, excess
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  • 2An act of revenge or retaliation.

    ‘the drive-by shootings are mainly paybacks’
    • ‘That was when I got the payback for my shameless, self-indulgent comfort-fest.’
    • ‘From one perspective, she could see it as payback for what Tess had stolen.’
    • ‘She rather enjoyed embarrassing him; it was a kind of payback for all the times she had felt like a fool in his presence.’
    • ‘This was payback for totally dropping the ball on the trail departure.’
    • ‘It was suppose to be payback for the defeat he, Rich and Kevin suffered yesterday on the volleyball court.’
    • ‘I don't think you can argue that they were consciously thinking of it as a payback for what Australia did.’
    • ‘I don't think she'll do it, but the dare was good enough payback.’
    • ‘They revel in paybacks for the rest of their enemies' lives.’
    • ‘So anyways I guess this is some sort of payback or something.’
    • ‘Control over these smaller mines remains in many cases, almost non-existent due to local corruption and paybacks from officials.’
    • ‘But the payback will have been so long coming, and so uncertain, that it can't have been much of a motivation.’
    • ‘Those were paybacks for when they dropped the wide-open ones along the sideline.’
    • ‘No, I think the analysis of this is kind of a little bit of a payback for the exaggerated notion of a lame duck.’
    • ‘It's payback time for the excesses of chief executive officers.’
    • ‘His whole idea of payback worked because clearly Arianne was jealous.’
    • ‘That was payback for the time he tried to glue my arm to the desk.’
    • ‘His so-called friend took the opportunity to snatch away the telescope, and hit Cass with it as payback.’
    • ‘So I figured he deserved some payback, just enough to make a fool of himself.’
    • ‘And I grinned, laughing at having him in a tight spot - it was payback, he deserved it.’
    • ‘This was payback for the last day she'd been trying to talk to him.’
    revenge, vengeance, reprisal, retribution, requital, recrimination, an eye for an eye, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, getting even, redress, repayment
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