- the act of dismissing employees, especially temporarily.
- a period of enforced unemployment or inactivity.
Origin of layoff
Examples from the Web for layoff
The gaming site plans to layoff 18 percent of its workforce and shut several offices.Ex–Zynga Employees Tell All on Reddit
June 6, 2013
You also knew the libs (including the Super PAC I advised, Priorities USA Action) would zero-in on his record as a layoff artist.Paul Begala on the Five Stages of GOP Grief
November 7, 2012
Neither presidential campaign responded to a request for comment about the layoff announcement.Lockheed Martin’s Layoff Notices: An Empty Threat?
June 27, 2012
Layoff seems to be the most commonly used word despite—or maybe because of—a passivity that cheats the impact of the experience.The Unemployed Finally Speak Out: D.W. Gibson’s ‘Not Working’
June 19, 2012
They would rather cut capital expenditures and expenses, and reduce internal control costs than be forced to layoff key talent.Anti-Americanism, ‘Repression,’ and No Caviar
January 31, 2009
After this morning, Rogers would post him for the layoff for sure.
Come to think of it, Ernie didn't know there was going to be a layoff.
Would he come back to the farm if this ten day layoff were extended, or would he catch a train for Chicago?Plowing On Sunday
Show them that your layoff hasnt hurt your batting eye, Larry, sang out McRae.Baseball Joe, Home Run King
Word Origin and History for layoff
also lay-off, lay off; 1889, "rest, respite;" from lay (v.) + off. Via seasonal labor with periodic down time, it came to have a sense of "temporary release from employment," and by 1960s was being used somewhat euphemistically for permanent releases of masses of workers by employers. The verbal phrase lay off is attested from 1868 as "dismiss" (an employee); meaning "stop disturbing" is from 1908.
The temporary or permanent removal of a worker from his or her job, usually because of cutbacks in production or corporate reorganization.