[ fur-loh ]
/ ˈfɜr loʊ /


Military. a vacation or leave of absence granted to an enlisted person.
a usually temporary layoff from work: Many plant workers have been forced to go on furlough.
a temporary leave of absence authorized for a prisoner from a penitentiary.

verb (used with object)

to grant a furlough to.
to lay (an employee or worker) off from work, usually temporarily.

Nearby words

  1. furiously,
  2. furkid,
  3. furl,
  4. furl.,
  5. furlong,
  6. furmenty,
  7. furmint,
  8. furmity,
  9. furnace,
  10. furness

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for furlough

British Dictionary definitions for furlough


/ (ˈfɜːləʊ) /


leave of absence from military duty
US a temporary laying-off of employees, usually because there is insufficient work to occupy them

verb (tr)

to grant a furlough to
US to lay off (staff) temporarily

Word Origin for furlough

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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper