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payola Line breaks: pay¦ola
Pronunciation: /peɪˈəʊlə/

Definition of payola in English:


[mass noun] chiefly North American
The practice of bribing someone in return for the unofficial promotion of a product in the media: if a record company spends enough money on payola, it can make any record a hit
More example sentences
  • Artists and publishers have incentives to engage in payola because copyrights allow them to collect rent on each song played or record sold.
  • Similarly, his worries about drugs, payola, and other perils of the music industry prompted him to sell RCA Records too quickly and cheaply.
  • Now for the past 50 years, we have done everything we could to get music on the radio, including at one time payola.


1930s: from pay1 + -ola as in Victrola, the name of a make of gramophone.

Words that rhyme with payola

Angola, barbola, bipolar, bowler, bronchiolar, canola, carambola, circumpolar, coaler, Coca-Cola, cola, comptroller, consoler, controller, Ebola, eidola, extoller, Finola, Gorgonzola, granola, Hispaniola, kola, Lola, lunisolar, mandola, molar, multipolar, Ndola, patroller, pianola, polar, roller, Savonarola, scagliola, scroller, sola, solar, stroller, tombola, Tortola, troller, Vignola, viola, Zola
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