Definition of payback in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈpeɪbak/


1 [mass noun] Profit from an investment equal to the initial outlay: a long time lag between investment and payback [count noun]: we aim to achieve a payback of the cost within eight years
More example sentences
  • Businesses often look for a two to three-year payback on capital investments.
  • She declines to discuss return on investment, but insists payback will come.
  • That was payback for the investment, but playing in Scotland, those costs were unsustainable.
2An act of revenge or retaliation: the drive-by shootings are mainly paybacks
More example sentences
  • No, I think the analysis of this is kind of a little bit of a payback for the exaggerated notion of a lame duck.
  • But the payback will have been so long coming, and so uncertain, that it can't have been much of a motivation.
  • I don't think you can argue that they were consciously thinking of it as a payback for what Australia did.

Words that rhyme with payback


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pay|back

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.