the temporary closing of a business or the refusal by an employer to allow employees to come to work until they accept the employer's terms.

Origin of lockout

First recorded in 1850–55; noun use of verb phrase lock out
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lockout

Contemporary Examples of lockout

Historical Examples of lockout

  • Promptly he imposed a lockout on his rebellious progeny and erring spouse.

  • This lockout is the turning point in the history of trade unionism in England.

  • The action of these bodies broke the lockout, which was of but brief existence.

    30,000 Locked Out.

    James C. Beeks

  • The strike was made inoperative for the time being by the lockout of the employers.

    30,000 Locked Out.

    James C. Beeks

  • No more were they worried by slack times, strike and lockout, and the union label.

    The Iron Heel

    Jack London

Word Origin and History for lockout

also lock-out, "act of locking out workers," 1854, from lock (v.) + out.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lockout in Culture


The withholding of work from employees and closing down of a plant by an employer during a labor dispute.

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.