To pay the piper
Pay Pay, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Paid}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Paying}.] [OE. paien, F. payer, fr. L. pacare to pacify, appease, fr. pax, pacis, peace. See {Peace}.] 1. To satisfy, or content; specifically, to satisfy (another person) for service rendered, property delivered, etc.; to discharge one's obligation to; to make due return to; to compensate; to remunerate; to recompense; to requite; as, to pay workmen or servants. [1913 Webster]

May no penny ale them pay [i. e., satisfy]. --P. Plowman. [1913 Webster]

[She] pays me with disdain. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, figuratively: To compensate justly; to requite according to merit; to reward; to punish; to retort or retaliate upon. [1913 Webster]

For which, or pay me quickly, or I'll pay you. --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

3. To discharge, as a debt, demand, or obligation, by giving or doing what is due or required; to deliver the amount or value of to the person to whom it is owing; to discharge a debt by delivering (money owed). ``Pay me that thou owest.'' --Matt. xviii. 28. [1913 Webster]

Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. --Matt. xviii. 26. [1913 Webster]

If they pay this tax, they starve. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

4. To discharge or fulfill, as a duy; to perform or render duty, as that which has been promised. [1913 Webster]

This day have I paid my vows. --Prov. vii. 14. [1913 Webster]

5. To give or offer, without an implied obligation; as, to pay attention; to pay a visit. [1913 Webster]

Not paying me a welcome. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{To pay off}. (a) To make compensation to and discharge; as, to pay off the crew of a ship. (b) To allow (a thread, cord, etc.) to run off; to unwind.

{To pay one's duty}, to render homage, as to a sovereign or other superior.

{To pay out} (Naut.), to pass out; hence, to slacken; to allow to run out; as, to pay out more cable. See under {Cable}.

{To pay the piper}, to bear the cost, expense, or trouble. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • To pay the piper — Piper Pip er, n. 1. (Mus.) One who plays on a pipe, or the like, esp. on a bagpipe. The hereditary piper and his sons. Macaulay. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) (a) A common European gurnard ({Trigla lyra}), having a large head, with prominent nasal …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pay the piper — or[pay the fiddler] {v. phr.} To suffer the results of being foolish; pay or suffer because of your foolish acts or wasting money. * /Bob had spent all his money and got into debt, so now he must pay the piper./ * /Fred had a fight, broke a… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • pay the piper — or[pay the fiddler] {v. phr.} To suffer the results of being foolish; pay or suffer because of your foolish acts or wasting money. * /Bob had spent all his money and got into debt, so now he must pay the piper./ * /Fred had a fight, broke a… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • pay the piper — to accept the unpleasant results of something you have done. After fooling around for most of the semester, now he has to pay the piper and study over vacation. If you don t charge enough for your work, at some point you will have to pay the… …   New idioms dictionary

  • pay the piper — phrasal 1. : to bear the cost of something artists will be chosen … supported by the state … the people will pay the piper and call the tune Clive Bell 2. : to suffer the consequences of or penalty for an act * * * pay the piper see under ↑pipe1… …   Useful english dictionary

  • pay the piper — verb a) To pay expenses for something, and thus be in a position to be in control (i.e. to be able to call the tune). Those that pay the piper must command the tune. b) To pay a monetary debt or experience unfavorable consequences, especially… …   Wiktionary

  • pay\ the\ piper — • pay the piper • pay the fiddler v. phr. To suffer the results of being foolish; pay or suffer because of your foolish acts or wasting money. Bob had spent all his money and got into debt, so now he must pay the piper. Fred had a fight, broke a… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • pay the piper (to) —  Pay what one owes; take the consequences.  The phrase comes from the proverb “He who dances must pay the piper.”  ► “Eastern Europe’s banks pay the piper after the heady days of the early ’90s.” (Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1996, p. A12) …   American business jargon

  • pay the piper — When you pay the piper, you have to accept the consequences of something that you have done wrong or badly …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • pay the piper —    When you pay the piper, you have to accept the consequences of something that you have done wrong or badly.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

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