Definition of payoff in US English:



  • 1A payment made to someone, especially as a bribe or reward, or on leaving a job.

    ‘widespread rumors of payoffs and kickbacks in the party’
    • ‘The result is that contracts go to those who guarantee pay-offs to the panel members or their ‘owners’.’
    • ‘Board members come and go with huge pay-offs and bonuses no matter how successful.’
    • ‘No one doubts, however, that it does maintain covert agents and does use monetary pay-offs to gain influence in the country.’
    • ‘She told delegates times were tough for manufacturing firms and the Government was just as angry as unions about executives receiving huge pay-offs.’
    • ‘But, in the absence of unlikely impeachment procedures, a substantial pay-off appears to be the only real option open to the Government to encourage the judge to resign.’
    • ‘His severance pay-off is believed to have been as much as £83,000.’
    • ‘The idea that he resigned and gets this huge pay-off is disgraceful.’
    • ‘Two opposition politicians confessed to receiving $10,000 pay-offs under the previous Estrada Government.’
    • ‘Are the pay-offs and bribes more important than these boys or putting an end to such nonsense?’
    • ‘The pay-offs, remember, come on top of transfer fees and the big wages paid to them.’
    • ‘However, they are still refusing to make the final redundancy payments, pay-offs which range from £16,000 to £28,000 each.’
    • ‘When all the facts came out, though, those contributions were revealed as little more than window dressing, an early ante up for the real bribery and pay-offs.’
    • ‘If any of these executives are fired, they will expect a big pay-off; but not all pay-offs bring peace of mind.’
    • ‘He announced his intentions over three months ago and said the pay-off had not influenced his decision.’
    • ‘As executives are continuing to work at the group, the issue of pay-offs had not arisen last night.’
    • ‘The man spoke with the radiant serenity of those who have, despite the alternative lures and pay-offs, chosen to be a free subject.’
    • ‘Still, as paltry as the pay-offs were, the scandal exposed the hollowness of the ruling party's nationalist rhetoric.’
    • ‘We're expecting him back some time next week and all this talk of pay-offs and what have you is incorrect.’
    • ‘It is reported that this reduction, with all the pay-offs and pensions will cost around USD 1.1 billion.’
    • ‘Rose is facing an angry backlash from key investors over the £10m pay-offs to departing executives.’
    payment, payout, reward, recompense, consideration
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    1. 1.1 The return on investment or on a bet.
      • ‘But he adds that the potential payoff is worth the risk.’
      • ‘The best entrepreneurs I know are not concerned about getting credit for their ideas - the financial pay-off is reward enough.’
      • ‘The Democrats' strategy also holds a potential pay-off for another reason.’
      • ‘Seeing this movie is indeed a risk, but one with extraordinary pay-offs.’
      • ‘The latter approach is more difficult, but offers a much bigger pay-off at the end.’
      • ‘So the question becomes: is the payoff worth the effort?’
      • ‘Be advised that larger pools do not automatically result in larger individual pay-offs.’
      • ‘The more sets a player completes, the higher the potential pay-off if they win.’
      • ‘We knew, in other words, that self archiving was a small investment for authors with a large pay-off.’
      • ‘The stake for their gamble is a high one, perhaps 100 million, and while the pay-off could be massive, the outcome could also be disaster not only for the politicians but for the country they lead.’
      • ‘The new operations may have had an immediate pay-off.’
      • ‘You should have improved net return by direct marketing your poultry and also reduce your financial risk with quicker pay-off of the small up front investment required.’
      • ‘Between them, their share options and pension pots are expected to amount to pay-offs of more than £6m each.’
      • ‘However, the bosses will prosper with fat cash pay-offs and sweet share deals that will see them comfortably well-off well into dotage.’
      • ‘Both are expected to receive six-figure pay-offs.’
      • ‘Thus, the pay-off on investment was high where there was an expanding labour force with which more capital could be put to work.’
      • ‘Increasing grant support will shift efforts toward current issues, particularly those that have immediate economic pay-offs.’
      • ‘However, if your firm's finances are relatively healthy, getting a bigger pay-off is indeed an option worth exploring.’
      • ‘The real payoff in present terms is the spinoff technology that will be used for future lunar and interplanetary missions.’
      • ‘Organizations are assumed to choose a policy that their cognitive representation suggests maximizes their payoff.’
      return, return on investment, yield, payback, reward, profit, gain, income, revenue, interest, dividend, percentage
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    2. 1.2 A final outcome; a conclusion.
      ‘it gave them the idea for the payoff of last night's episode’
      • ‘Nonetheless, the software delivers the expected payoff.’
      • ‘Working towards daily bliss, a little at a time, can have big pay-offs in terms of lasting beauty that stems from deep within you.’
      • ‘But the biggest pay-off of her improved chemistry grade was her mother getting off her back.’
      • ‘As long as he increases his heart-rate and keeps it that way for 30 to 40 minutes, the pay-off over time will be enormous.’
      • ‘Since then, the group has undertaken projects with big pay-offs for patients, nurses, even the public.’
      • ‘The pay-off comes when the table is finally returned to the antique dealer who gets what might be called her just dessert.’
      • ‘Research need not always have a direct pay-off in terms of influencing policy or practice directly.’
      • ‘Which is a shame, because the final pay-off is worthwhile, and despite all the frustrations I did enjoy it.’
      • ‘Did learning the moves have any big pay-off for him in real-life, to help him seduce his own wife?’
      • ‘Playing a game boils down to performing an action: this action is based on a strategy that is chosen after the players consider the pay-offs.’
      • ‘So what happens in the final scene isn't really a pay-off.’
      • ‘What will be broadcast this weekend is one of his favourites from a year or two back, with an updated introduction and a final pay-off.’
      • ‘These films also maintain a presence of God, fate, and karmic pay-offs for the hero's eventual victory.’
      • ‘He built the tenderness up slowly and carefully, until its consummation delivered a powerful emotional payoff.’
      • ‘Splitting water to produce molecular oxygen and molecular hydrogen has a big potential payoff.’
      outcome, denouement, culmination, conclusion, development, result, consequence, out-turn, end result, upshot, aftermath
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