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[pey-awf, -of] /ˈpeɪˌɔf, -ˌɒf/

the payment of a salary, debt, wager, etc.
the time at which such payment is made.
the consequence, outcome, or final sequence in a series of events, actions, or circumstances:
The payoff was when they fired him.
Informal. the climax of something, especially a story or joke.
a settlement or reckoning, as in retribution or reward.
Informal. a bribe.
yielding results, especially rewarding or decisive results:
The payoff play was the long pass into the end zone.

also pay-off, 1905, “winnings from gambling,” from pay (v.) + off. Meaning “graft, bribes” first attested 1930. Phrase to pay off “be profitable” is first recorded 1937.



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