Definition of pay someone off in English:

pay someone off

phrasal verb

  • Dismiss someone with a final payment.

    ‘when directors are fired, they should not be lavishly paid off’
    • ‘After she was paid off following poor sales of her last album, she came to see him.’
    • ‘But the album was a complete flop, and led to the firm paying her off to the tune of £20m.’
    • ‘They can't provide enough new business for me to get my teeth stuck into, so they decided to pay me off.’
    • ‘I think he's got another year but I don't know whether they want to keep him or pay him off.’
    • ‘Thinking about it, he's been there for some time, so they'll have to pay him off.’
    • ‘They essentially paid him off to let them phase out his show without a huge protest.’
    • ‘He has just fired the boss of his French textiles business and paid him off with £1m.’
    • ‘He remains a shareholder but it was renamed after he was paid off from his post as chief executive in February.’
    • ‘Because investment bankers are paid very well (and I was paid off quite well) I was and am in no immediate danger of starving, but life was and is complicated.’
    pay what one owes
    View synonyms