pay off

pay off  {v. phr.}
1. To pay the wages of.
The men were paid off just before quitting time, the last day before the holiday.
2. To pay and discharge from a job.
When the building was completed he paid off the laborers.
3. To hurt (someone) who has done wrong to you; get revenge on.
When Bob tripped Dick, Dick paid Bob off by punching him in the nose.
Syn.: PAY BACK.
4.  {informal}
To bring a return; make profit.
At first Mr. Harrison lost money on his investments, but finally one paid off.
5.  {informal}
To prove successful, rewarding, or worthwhile.
Ben's friendship with the old man who lived beside him paid off in pleasant hours and broadened interests.
John studied hard before the examination, and it paid off. He made an A.
Categories: informal verb

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