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furlough

[fur-loh]
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noun
  1. Military. a vacation or leave of absence granted to an enlisted person.
  2. a usually temporary layoff from work: Many plant workers have been forced to go on furlough.
  3. a temporary leave of absence authorized for a prisoner from a penitentiary.
verb (used with object)
  1. to grant a furlough to.
  2. to lay (an employee or worker) off from work, usually temporarily.

Origin of furlough

1615–25; variant of earlier furlogh, furloff < Dutch verlof leave, permission; current pronunciation by association with dough, etc.
Related formspre·fur·lough, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for furlough

furlough

noun
  1. leave of absence from military duty
  2. US a temporary laying-off of employees, usually because there is insufficient work to occupy them
verb (tr)
  1. to grant a furlough to
  2. US to lay off (staff) temporarily

Word Origin

C17: from Dutch verlof, from ver- for- + lof leave, permission; related to Swedish förlof
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for furlough

n.

1620s, vorloffe, from Dutch verlof, literally "permission," from Middle Dutch ver- "completely, for" + laf, lof "permission," which is related to the second element in believe and to leave (n.).

The -gh spelling developed by 1770s and represents an "f" that was once pronounced at the end of the word but disappeared fairly soon thereafter in English.

v.

1783, from furlough (n.). Related: Furloughed; furloughing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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