Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

lay off

verb

Definition of lay off

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to mark or measure off

  3. 2 :  to cease to employ (a worker) often temporarily

  4. 3 of a bookie :  to place all or part of (an accepted bet) with another bookie to reduce the risk

  5. 4 a :  to leave undisturbed b :  avoid, quit <was advised to lay off smoking and alcohol> c :  to refrain from swinging at (a pitch)

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to stop doing or taking something

  8. 2 :  to leave one alone <wish you'd just lay off>



Examples of lay off

  1. <you need to lay off eating those jelly doughnuts, or you'll end up looking like one>



1748

First Known Use of lay off

1748



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up lay off? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 2.2 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ