Definition of payoff in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpāˌôf/


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
More example sentences
  • Are the pay-offs and bribes more important than these boys or putting an end to such nonsense?
  • Board members come and go with huge pay-offs and bonuses no matter how successful.
  • 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.
payment, payout, reward;
bribe, inducement, incentive, payola
informal kickback, sweetener
1.1The return on an investment or a bet.
Example sentences
  • Thus, the pay-off on investment was high where there was an expanding labour force with which more capital could be put to work.
  • The Democrats' strategy also holds a potential pay-off for another reason.
  • The more sets a player completes, the higher the potential pay-off if they win.
return (on investment), yield, payback, profit, gain, dividend
1.2A final outcome; a conclusion: it gave them the idea for the payoff of last night’s episode
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Which is a shame, because the final pay-off is worthwhile, and despite all the frustrations I did enjoy it.
  • 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.
outcome, denouement, culmination, conclusion, development, result

Words that rhyme with payoff

lay-off, playoff

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pay·off

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.