Definition for PAY

PAY, v.t. [pret. and pp. paid. Fr. payer, Norm. pair, contracted from It. pagare, Port and Sp. pagar, Arm. paca. Class Bg. From the different applications of pay, the sense appears to be to send or send to, for in our vulgar language, to pay on, is to strike, to beat; and to pay with pitch, is to put on or rub over. In the sense of strike, this coincides with the Greek παιω, εμπαιω, W. pwyaw. In another seamen's phrase, the word signifies to loosen or slacken, as to pay out cable, that is, to send or extend. But this word can not belong to the root of the Greek and Welsh words, unless these are contracted from Pg or Pk.]

  1. To discharge a debt; to deliver to a creditor the value of the debt, either in money or goods, to his acceptance or satisfaction, by which the obligation of the debtor is discharged.
  2. To discharge a duty created by promise or by custom or by the moral law; as, to pay a debt of honor or of kindness. You have paid down / More penitence, than done trespass. – Shak.
  3. To fulfill; to perform what is promised; as, to pay one's vows. – Scripture.
  4. To render what is due to a superior, or demanded by civility or courtesy; as, to pay respect to a magistrate; to pay due honor to parents.
  5. To beat. For which, or pay me quickly, or I'll pay you. – B. Jonson.
  6. To reward; to recompense; as, to pay for kindness with neglect. – Dryden. To pay for, to make amends; to atone by suffering. Men often pay for their mistakes with loss of property or reputation, sometimes with life.
  7. To give on equivalent for any thing purchased. To pay, or pay over, in seamen's language, to daub or besmear the surface of any body, to preserve it from injury by water or weather. To pay the bottom of a vessel, to cover it with a composition of tallow, sulphur, resin, &c; to bream. To pay a mast or yard, to besmear it with tar, turpentine, resin, tallow or varnish. To pay a seam, to pour melted pitch along it, so as to defend the oakum. To pay off, to make compensation to and discharge; as, to pay off the crew of a ship. To pay out, to slacken, extend or cause to run out; as, to pay out more cable. – Mar. Dict.

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