furlough

noun
fur·​lough | \ ˈfər-(ˌ)lō How to pronounce furlough (audio) \

Definition of furlough

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a leave of absence granted to a governmental or institutional employee (such as a soldier or civil servant) The Army began furloughs in September as so-called 'sanity checks' for soldiers whose tour has stretched to nearly a year.— Jenny Deam also : a document authorizing such a leave of absence
2 : a temporary leave from work that is not paid and is often for a set period of time One possible way to avoid layoffs is through furloughs—making workers take an unpaid leave of absence …— Paul B. Brown
3 : a set period of time when a prisoner is allowed to leave a prison Those probation officers are then able to monitor criminals serving their sentences in work camps or on furlough rather than in jail as a way of relieving overcrowding.— Richard Willing

furlough

verb
furloughed; furloughing; furloughs

Definition of furlough (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to grant a leave of absence or furlough to (someone) a soldier being furloughed a furloughed prisoner
2 : to put (a worker) on furlough : to lay off (a worker) for usually a brief or temporary period … other airlines are placing pressure on the unionized pilots to take large salary cuts—at least those pilots who haven't already been "furloughed" (the word pilots use instead of the more plebeian "laid off").— George Hopkins Although no one could supply exact figures, sources in Washington, D.C., said nearly 500,000 federal workers were furloughed for all or part of Thursday. In the Los Angeles-Long Beach area about 11,000 of the 40,000 federal workers were sent home because of the operating fund impasse in Congress.— Jerry Belcher

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Synonyms for furlough

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of furlough in a Sentence

Noun Each employee will have a one-day furlough every month. the landscaping company usually has to put most of its personnel on furlough during the extremely slow winter months Verb The company will consider furloughing a small number of workers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Late in his term of service, he was pulled from duty on an emergency furlough to cook for President Charles de Gaulle, who had stopped in Auch for lunch while making a political tour of the southwest. New York Times, "André Daguin Dies at 84; Chef Made Gascony (and a Dish) Famous," 3 Dec. 2019 And certainly not hundreds of thousands of federal workers who were forced to go on furlough or work without pay during the last shutdown, causing missed mortgage payments and other financial hardships. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "1 year after historic shutdown, Congress and White House fund government amid impeachment," 22 Dec. 2019 While Boeing is not planning to lay off any of the 12,000 workers building the Max in Renton, employees at some suppliers will likely face salary cuts, furloughs or layoffs. David Yaffe-bellany, New York Times, "After Boeing Halts Max Production, Suppliers Wait for Fallout," 18 Dec. 2019 Those suppliers can either keep employees on staff indefinitely, in the hope that Boeing’s production lines will resume quickly, or furlough employees. Washington Post, "Boeing 737 Max production halt expected to ripple through global supplier base," 17 Dec. 2019 No furloughs or layoffs are planned for the 12,000 workers at the Seattle-area plant where 737 Max jets are built, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details are still private. Fortune, "Boeing Will Pause 737 Max Output in January; No Layoffs Planned," 16 Dec. 2019 The 90-year-old company had shut down its Kerrville headquarters and plant on Nov 12, putting all of its 60 employees on furlough. Randy Diamond, ExpressNews.com, "Aircraft maker Mooney is back in business in Kerrville," 2 Dec. 2019 Tanzella was sentenced to a year of work furlough on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How a white supremacist shed hate and found redemption," 2 Sep. 2019 Rivian has hired about 50 former Faraday Future employees, including at least 34 since the struggling startup put workers on furlough late last year. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "EV startup Rivian has poached dozens from Ford, McLaren, Tesla, and Faraday Future," 2 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But the Nationals already had committed to Jose Andres, a Washington chef who offered free meals to furloughed federal workers during the government shutdown and helped feed Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria struck. BostonGlobe.com, "It was a relatively standard career path, one that surely would have led to financial success and a comfortable life. But DeBartolo couldn’t shake the idea that what he really wanted was to work in baseball.," 27 Oct. 2019 That may have furloughed as many as 200,000 additional workers at those companies, according to estimates. Chris Isidore, CNN, "UAW, GM negotiators seek deal as strike reaches two-week mark," 29 Sep. 2019 Blackjewel also furloughed most of its Wyoming employees and shut down two massive surface mines, the first idled by hardship since coal mining in the western region exploded in the 1970s. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Coal miners blocking rail shipments end protest," 26 Sep. 2019 Without a resolution, more than 800,000 government workers could be furloughed or sent to work without pay, disrupting government operations days before Christmas. Lisa Mascaro, The Seattle Times, "Shutdown talk recedes after White House eases wall threat," 18 Dec. 2018 If lawmakers do not pass a budget by next Friday, state employees will receive warnings stating that they will be furloughed or laid off in two weeks. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Senate will delay another vote on $3,000 PFD," 6 June 2019 Roughly 23% of the department’s overseas employees and 40% of its U.S. employees are furloughed, the spokesman said. Courtney Mcbride, WSJ, "State Department Workers Called Back to Their Jobs," 17 Jan. 2019 Nonessential federal workers are furloughed, which means they are sent home and docked pay. Tessa Berenson, Time, "What Is a Government Shutdown? Here's What Happens Now," 19 Jan. 2018 According to the Portman’s report, the 52 days the federal government was fully or partially shut down over the past five years cost taxpayers nearly $4 billion, mostly in back pay to federal workers who were furloughed. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com, "Government shutdowns cost taxpayers nearly $4 billion over last five years, says report from Sen. Rob Portman," 17 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'furlough.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of furlough

Noun

1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1781, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for furlough

Noun and Verb

Dutch verlof, literally, permission, from Middle Dutch, from ver- for- + lof permission; akin to Middle High German loube permission — more at for-, leave

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Time Traveler for furlough

Time Traveler

The first known use of furlough was in 1631

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Statistics for furlough

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Furlough.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/furlough?scrlybrkr=ceb24662. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for furlough

furlough

noun
How to pronounce furlough (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of furlough

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a period of time when a soldier is allowed to leave the place where he or she is stationed
US : a period of time when an employee is told not to come to work and is not paid
US : a period of time when a prisoner is allowed to leave prison

furlough

verb

English Language Learners Definition of furlough (Entry 2 of 2)

: to grant a furlough to (someone)
US : to put (a worker) on furlough

furlough

noun
fur·​lough | \ ˈfər-lō How to pronounce furlough (audio) \

Kids Definition of furlough

: a leave of absence from duty

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More from Merriam-Webster on furlough

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for furlough

Spanish Central: Translation of furlough

Nglish: Translation of furlough for Spanish Speakers

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