American English

Definition of pay noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  •  the money that someone gets for doing regular work Her job is hard work, but the pay is good. a pay increase a pay raise a 3%pay offer vacation pay to make a pay claim (= to officially ask for an increase in pay) see also sick pay Thesaurusincomepay salary wage/wages overtime 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 incomespay (often used in compounds) money that employees earn for doing their jobs:We all took pay cuts when sales figures fell. A large percentage of my paycheck goes towards health insurance for my family. The job offers good pay and benefits.salary a fixed amount of money that employees earn (usually per year) for doing their jobs:She was offered a starting salary of $33,000 per year. A person's salary does not change, no matter how many hours per week the person works.wage/wages (somewhat formal) money that a person receives for doing their job, usually calculated by the hour or by dividing an annual salary into a semi-monthly or monthly figure:By law, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. I earned $1,700 in wages last, salary, or wage?Pay is the most general of these three words. The term wages is used in accounting to describe the amount of money someone earns before any taxes or other payments are taken away. Employees who work in offices or professional people, such as teachers or doctors, usually receive a salary that is paid once or twice a month, but is usually expressed as an annual figure.overtime money that a person earns for working more hours than they had originally agreed to work:She earned $500 in overtime by working the entire holiday weekend.earnings (business) money that a person earns for their work:The industry has seen a rise in average earnings over the past two years.Patterns (a) high/low/basic income/pay/salary/wage/earnings to earn an income/your pay/a salary/a wage/overtime to earn $.. in income/pay/salary/wages/overtime to live on/support a family on a(n) income/salary/hourly wage of…
  • Idioms
    in the pay of somebody/something (usually disapproving)
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    working for someone or for an organization, often secretly He was in the pay of the drug barons.
    See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: pay