View synonyms for layoff


[ ley-awf, -of ]


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


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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of layoff1

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

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Example Sentences

“We started to see how women were being disproportionately affected by layoffs, furloughed and being forced out of work to take care of their kids,” she said.

From Digiday

In addition to the layoffs at Disney, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia last year, NBCUniversal plans to shut down its TV sports network NBCSN by the end of this year.

From Digiday

Profitability may have been out of reach if it weren’t for the layoffs that these companies underwent.

From Digiday

Thousands of Chase branches reduced hours in mid-March, with 1,000 closing immediately — some of which have shuttered for good since, as the bank reportedly conducted layoffs.

From Ozy

The ballot measure’s passage has already led to layoffs in the state, and with delivery services adding fees that they previously threatened would only happen if Prop 22 didn’t pass.

From Eater

The gaming site plans to layoff 18 percent of its workforce and shut several offices.

Unemployment claims are trending down, and the number of mass layoff events is declining.

You also knew the libs (including the Super PAC I advised, Priorities USA Action) would zero-in on his record as a layoff artist.

Neither presidential campaign responded to a request for comment about the layoff announcement.

Layoff seems to be the most commonly used word despite—or maybe because of—a passivity that cheats the impact of the experience.

Come to think of it, Ernie didn't know there was going to be a layoff.

After this morning, Rogers would post him for the layoff for sure.

Show them that your layoff hasnt hurt your batting eye, Larry, sang out McRae.

Would he come back to the farm if this ten day layoff were extended, or would he catch a train for Chicago?


Related Words

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Layoff Vs. Furlough

What’s the difference between layoff and furlough?

A layoff is usually a permanent removal from a job. A furlough is a temporary release of a worker from their job, typically with the expectation that they will be asked to return.

Both words can also be used as verbs. An organization can lay off employees or furlough them. The adjective forms are laid off and furloughed.

The word layoff is typically used in the context of a company permanently letting go workers due to economic reasons (such as not being able to afford to pay them) as opposed to performance reasons (employees let go for poor performance are typically said to have been fired).

A furlough typically involves an employer requiring an employee to stop working for a period of time during which they will not get paid—though furloughed workers sometimes keep their benefits, such as health insurance. Furloughs can happen during government shutdowns or when a company does not need certain employees for a certain period of time but expects to need them back after that period ends.

Here’s an example of layoff and furlough used correctly in a sentence.

Example: A furlough is not ideal, but at least it’s temporary—the company is doing it to avoid layoffs.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between layoff and furlough.

Quiz yourself on layoff vs. furlough!

Should layoff or furlough be used in the following sentence?

The company ordered a one-month ____ of its employees during the closure.




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