layoff

[ ley-awf, -of ]
/ ˈleɪˌɔf, -ˌɒf /

noun

the act of dismissing employees, especially temporarily.
a period of enforced unemployment or inactivity.

QUIZZES

FOR LEXICAL ALIMENTATION, TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

Nourish your vocabulary with a refresher on the words from the week of September 14–20, 2020!
Question 1 of 7
What does “blatherskite” mean?

Origin of layoff

1885–90, Americanism; noun use of verb phrase lay off

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH layoff

lay off, layoff
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for layoff

British Dictionary definitions for layoff

lay off

verb

noun lay-off

the act of suspending employees
a period of imposed unemployment
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

Cultural definitions for layoff

layoff

The temporary or permanent removal of a worker from his or her job, usually because of cutbacks in production or corporate reorganization.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with layoff

lay off

1

Terminate a person from employment. For example, When they lost the contract, they had to lay off a hundred workers. This expression formerly referred to temporary dismissals, as during a recession, with the idea that workers would be hired back when conditions improved, but with the tendency of businesses to downsize in the 1990s it came to mean “terminate permanently.” [First half of 1800s]

2

Mark off the boundaries, as in Let's lay off an area for a flower garden. [Mid-1700s]

3

Stop doing something, quit, as in Lay off that noise for a minute, so the baby can get to sleep, or She resolved to lay off smoking. [Early 1900s]

4

Stop bothering or annoying someone, as in Lay off or I'll tell the teacher. [Slang; c. 1900]

5

Place all or part of a bet with another bookmaker so as to reduce the risk. For example, Some bookmakers protect themselves by laying off very large bets with other bookmakers. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.