You pay a bribe to get someone to do something they wouldn't do otherwise. It's usually dishonest and often criminal.

Bribes can be utterly corrupt and illegal — like when you offer a bribe to a politician so she'll make a decision in your favor. On the other hand, a bribe can be somewhat benign — like when your mom bribes you with an ice cream if you play with your little brother. When you bribe someone, you can say you're "greasing their palm."

Definitions of bribe
  1. noun
    payment made to a person in a position of trust to corrupt his judgment
    synonyms: payoff
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    hush money
    a bribe paid to someone to insure that something is kept secret
    a commercial bribe paid by a seller to a purchasing agent in order to induce the agent to enter into the transaction
    a bribe given to a disc jockey to induce him to promote a particular record
    money offered as a bribe
    type of:
    a sum of money paid or a claim discharged
  2. verb
    make illegal payments to in exchange for favors or influence
    synonyms: buy, corrupt, grease one's palms
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    give a conciliatory gift or bribe to
    buy off, pay off
    pay someone with influence in order to receive a favor
    type of:
    give money, usually in exchange for goods or services
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