Definition of pay noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//peɪ//
; NAmE NAmE//peɪ//
Pay and conditions at work
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  •  [uncountable] the money that somebody gets for doing regular work Her job is hard work, but the pay is good. a pay increase (British English) a pay rise (North American English) a pay raise a 3% pay offer holiday pay to make a pay claim (= to officially ask for an increase in pay) Synonymsincomewage/​wages pay salary earningsThese are all words for money that a person earns or receives for their work.income money that a person receives for their work, or from investments or business:people on low incomeswage/​wages money that employees get for doing their job, usually paid every week:a weekly wage of £200pay money that employees earn for doing their job:The job offers good rates of pay.salary money that employees earn for doing their job, usually paid every month.wage, pay or salary?Pay is the most general of these three words. Employees who work in factories, etc. get their wages each week. Employees who work in offices or professional people such as teachers or doctors receive a salary that is paid each month, but is usually expressed as an annual figure.earnings money that a person earns from their work:a rise in average earnings for factory workersPatterns (a) high/​low/​basic income/​wage/​pay/​salary/​earnings to earn an income/​a wage/​your pay/​a salary to be on a(n) income/​wage/​salary of… see also sick pay Wordfinderbonus, commission, deduction, earn, overtime, pay, rise, salary, tax, wage See related entries: Pay and conditions at work
  • Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘pacify’): from Old French paie (noun), payer (verb), from Latin pacare ‘appease’, from pax, pac- ‘peace’. The notion of ‘payment’ arose from the sense of ‘pacifying’ a creditor.Extra examples He doubled his pay by accepting bribes. He has been suspended without pay. He has taken leave on half pay. He’s at the top of his company’s pay scale. His pay package including bonuses was worth at least $12 million. The job offers good rates of pay and excellent conditions. The workers are demanding their back pay. Women are eligible for 18 weeks maternity leave on full pay. Women are still decades away from achieving pay equity with men. a day off with pay equal pay for men and women holidays with pay industrial unrest over pay levels in the public sector the average take-home pay of a manual worker the money in my weekly pay packet workers on low pay He was stuck without a penny until his next pay day. a 3% pay raise sick payIdioms
    in the pay of somebody/something
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    (usually disapproving) working for somebody or for an organization, often secretly He was in the pay of the drugs barons.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pay