pay up

Meaning: If somebody pays up, they pay money they owe to someone even though they don't really want to.

Synonym: cough up (informal)

For example:

  • pay up Brett lost a thousand dollars playing pool in a bar, and if he hadn't paid up he would have been in big trouble.

  • pay up The mafia demands protection money from small businesses, and if someone doesn't pay up they'll be attacked and maybe even killed.

Quick Quiz:

After the fire, it took the insurance company a long time to pay up the money

a. I owed them

b. they owed me

c. they made us

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Contributor: Matt Errey