- the period of time required to recoup a capital investment.
- the return on an investment: a payback of 15 percent tax-free.
- the act or fact of paying back; repayment.
- something done in retaliation: a really vicious payback for years of being snubbed.
n.also pay-back, 1946, “net return on profits from an investment,” from pay (v.) + back (adj.). Meaning “revenge” is attested from 1957.