Definition of repay in English:



  • 1 Pay back (a loan, debt, or sum of money)

    ‘the loans were to be repaid over a 20-year period’
    • ‘The loans were converted into shares when Orb Estates proved unable to repay the loans and under stock exchange rules Lynch Talbot was required to bid for the rest of the company at stg 60p.’
    • ‘So, if you can comfortably afford the repayments, why not repay your loan over a shorter term, say, three years instead of four?’
    • ‘This prompted concerns that lenders were focusing on market share and volume growth rather than their customer's ability to repay loans and mortgages in an increasingly difficult economy.’
    • ‘A plan loan must be secured so that, in the event the participant is unable to repay the loan, the security is available to satisfy the participant's outstanding loan obligation.’
    • ‘They need to earn a return that will be sufficient to eventually repay the loan.’
    • ‘This type of insurance protects the lender in the event the borrower is unable to repay the loan.’
    • ‘If you receive a red letter, there is a high risk of you being unable to repay your mortgage at the end of the endowment's term.’
    • ‘By adding these funds to his loan repayments, he can repay his loan in 13 years.’
    • ‘Because there is virtually no prospect of the loans being repaid, it creates a condition of maximum financial instability.’
    • ‘Not all students will be able to start repaying loans immediately, which is where Ulster Bank and AIB (to a lesser degree) are more competitive.’
    • ‘However you do have various options and the key aspect is to combat the shortfall so that you do not find yourself unable to repay the mortgage at the end of the term.’
    • ‘In most cases, the rate at which the loan is repaid is the same as the chosen mortgage rate of the customer.’
    • ‘It was gratifying that people in the district were appreciative of the services that Pride Zambia was providing and that they were playing their part by repaying the loans.’
    • ‘The fact is you are paying your insurance premiums to the bank to protect them against you being unable to repay the loan.’
    • ‘Making sure you can repay your mortgage loan is one of the most basic financial needs’
    • ‘It relates to one of my three endowment policies, which at maturity in seven years time will not be sufficient to repay my mortgage loan.’
    • ‘When the loan is repaid and the land becomes free of the mortgage again, the mortgagor is said to redeem the land.’
    • ‘Endowment Mortgages use an endowment policy to provide life insurance and save funds to repay the loan at the end of the term.’
    • ‘Loans are repaid in monthly instalments over an agreed period.’
    • ‘As recession looms, how much banks increase reserves depends on how bad they think the downturn will be and how many debtors may have trouble repaying their loans.’
    reimburse, refund, pay back, recompense, compensate, remunerate, square accounts with, settle up with, indemnify, pay off
    pay back, return, refund, reimburse, give back
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    1. 1.1Pay back money borrowed from (someone)
      ‘most of his fortune had been spent repaying creditors’
      • ‘The money that goes toward the principal repays the money you borrowed to purchase the home.’
      • ‘Mike got in trouble with the tailor, but he couldn't repay him because he went bankrupt.’
      • ‘One phone call told me that I should have thought about how I was going to repay the money before I borrowed.’
      • ‘Reynolds insists vehemently that the money will be repaid soon - in 14 days, he insisted on one occasion.’
      • ‘Of course, the federal government is duty-bound to repay you, the lender, as prescribed by the debt obligation.’
      • ‘Six clients had money diverted from their accounts, though Joyce is reported to have repaid much of the money.’
      • ‘Poor people have less money to spend and less money to repay their debts.’
      • ‘The King in turn could tax his subjects to repay the money, so he didn't need to worry about his ‘credit rating’ with the Bank.’
      • ‘Nora hesitates to ask him for the large sum of money she needs to repay her debt to Krogstad.’
      • ‘Is some of your writing, in a sense, to repay him through your work?’
      • ‘The next day Nelly meets with Arnaud at the café and he writes her a cheque for 30,000 francs, dismissing her insistence that she'll repay the money as soon as she can.’
      • ‘You exchange money for a promise from the bank to repay you, subject to whatever limitations and provisions you may have agreed to in advance.’
      • ‘Haughey repaid the money along with another $10,000 in 1992.’
      • ‘They give him enough money to repay Mary and to buy himself some new clothes.’
      • ‘She borrowed a large sum of money from a creditor, and constantly must worry about repaying him at the same time as carrying on her typical life of shopping and caring for the house and children.’
      • ‘This weekend, one of the farmers to whom Ellis's business owed money described efforts to repay debts during 1987.’
      • ‘Contacted his ex-wife, his father, his mother, his siblings, his friends, his colleagues - anyone other than us - to borrow the money he needed to repay us.’
      • ‘Almost any kind of interior design work will cost you money and that money will not be repaid to you when you eventually sell your house.’
      • ‘He promises to repay the robbed travellers, and undertakes to obtain Sir John a place in the King's army during the impending civil war.’
      • ‘The minister says he made a mistake in giving him a spouse's rail ticket, and has now repaid the money.’
    2. 1.2Do or give something as recompense for (a favor or kindness received)
      ‘the manager has given me another chance and I'm desperate to repay that faith’
      • ‘Maybe we can hope that she'll repay the favour on their next outing.’
      • ‘If William II visited John Peter in the west and John repaid the favour in London, we might inquire what opportunities for social broadening a visit by John or Will Peter to their London cousin entailed.’
      • ‘Now we would like to repay the kindness, not only in the economic field, but also in education,’ he said.’
      • ‘Amelia would take Colonel Dobbin not as a rich, but as a poor man - thus atoning for her ‘selfishness’ over the years, and repaying his kindness when she was penniless.’
      • ‘For So Little Time, Coleman repays the favour, joining Otter's band for three of the album's eight tracks.’
      • ‘His donation documents show his concern to provide a properly dignified and devout burial for himself and to repay the kindness of his neighbor Giovan Simone for taking care of him in his infirm old age.’
      • ‘And he's done me a favour so I'm repaying him, so don't you lot be so mean to him.’
      • ‘So, will the morally dubious Sinbad high-tail it off to the safety of Bali, or will he keep his word, risk life and limb to find the book, and repay the loyalty his good friend has shown him?’
      • ‘Kong saves her many times from the carnivorous dinosaurs and she repays him with her trust.’
      • ‘Three decades later and Constance, by now a barrister, repaid the favour by successfully acting for the school when it mutated into a hotel and sought a liquor licence.’
      • ‘Lamb undertook the charge of his sister, who remained liable to periodic breakdowns, and she repaid him with great sympathy and affection.’
      • ‘Rowena says that Ivanhoe was just repaying her many kindnesses.’
      • ‘Now the company is repaying their loyalty and hard work by throwing one in eight of staff on the dole’.’
      • ‘Eliza once saved an African shaman who repaid her kindness by bestowing her with the ability to talk with critters.’
      • ‘Michael saw it as characteristic of Miss Laudon's graciousness to repay her friend's loyalty in this way.’
      • ‘Smart people will repay you for your generosity many times over with their trust.’
      • ‘To a casual viewer that's just an ugly woman on the till, but if you're a fan it repays your loyalty.’
      • ‘To repay Arthur for once saving his life, Ford wants Arthur to join him as he flees the doomed planet.’
      • ‘But he silently vowed, with all the resolve that had brought him off the streets of Kyoto to the New Jerusalem of America, that one day, in some way, he would repay this kindness.’
      • ‘As Bob Gottlied and Irene Wolt have documented in their history of the Times, the editors repaid Richardson for his service with a juicy promotion to staff reporter.’
      reciprocate, return, requite, recompense, reward
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Late Middle English: from Old French repaier.