Pay the Piper

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Also found in: Dictionary, Idioms.

Pay the Piper

1. To repay a debt.

2. To face a coming punishment, especially if one has made a serious mistake. One pays the piper by facing the wronged supervisor or client.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Eamon Gilmore is in the middle of an absolute hurricaneHe who pays the piper calls the tune and the Troika is paying the piper
They can afford these duds because much of the rest of the world is paying the piper. Writes Gallagher: "When you purchase a toy at Wal-Mart, do you ever imagine teenage women in China working from 7:30 a.m.
In that respect, the exchangor has delayed "paying the piper" until the sale of the second property.
Unfortunately, food companies that are hoping to build sales by removing trans fats from their products are going to be paying the piper for all the disappointments consumers have had with low-carb offerings.
It is sad to read such a biased article, such as "Paying the Piper" (January 2004).
In the end Paying the Piper may have tried to do too much with too little evidence, but it is unquestionably a genuine contribution to the study of life in an English county and should be of interest to all scholars of the early modern period.