layoff

1 of 2

noun

lay·​off ˈlā-ˌȯf How to pronounce layoff (audio)
1
: a period of inactivity or idleness
2
: the act of laying off an employee or a workforce
also : shutdown

lay off

2 of 2

verb

laid off; laying off; lays off

transitive verb

1
: to mark or measure off
2
: to cease to employ (a worker) often temporarily
3
of a bookie : to place all or part of (an accepted bet) with another bookie to reduce the risk
4
a
: to leave undisturbed
b
: avoid, quit
was advised to lay off smoking and alcohol
c
: to refrain from swinging at (a pitch)

intransitive verb

1
: to stop doing or taking something
2
: to leave one alone
wish you'd just lay off

Examples of layoff in a Sentence

Noun The company announced the layoff of several hundred employees. More layoffs are expected at the factory later this year. The band finally has a new album after a three year layoff. a layoff of three years Verb you need to lay off eating those jelly doughnuts, or you'll end up looking like one
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Paramount announced layoffs of 800 people this week. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2024 In just the first two months of the year several other major companies outside tech, such as Morgan Stanley, Paramount, and Citi, have announced layoffs affecting thousands of workers. Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez, Fortune, 16 Feb. 2024 The document does not state the number of employees impacted, the amount of money their layoffs will save the district, or when their last days of employment will be. Lina Ruiz, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 15 Feb. 2024 In the coming months and years, AI could significantly impact human capital, but make no mistake: This is not code for layoffs. Thomas Lah, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 There are no planned layoffs, but vacant positions would be eliminated and fewer new teachers could be hired. Lilly Price, Baltimore Sun, 14 Feb. 2024 Cisco’s job cuts come amid a string of layoffs in the tech industry, even as those companies pour billions of dollars into AI. Samantha Delouya, CNN, 14 Feb. 2024 Some commended Pietsch, who did not respond to The Post’s request for comment, for sharing her experience and shamed the company for its impersonal approach to layoffs. Taylor Telford, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 Yet measured against the nation’s vast labor force, the recent layoffs haven’t been significant enough to make a dent in the overall job market. Will Daniel, Fortune, 3 Feb. 2024
Verb
In January, fintech behemoth Brex, valued north of $12 billion, laid off 20% of its staff. Allie Garfinkle, Fortune, 22 Feb. 2024 Rivian has previously, on two different occasions, laid off 6% of its workforce, as the company has looked to reduce its losses. Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, a chip production factory, the state’s largest employer, has laid off workers because of low global demand. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2024 Studios including Paramount Global are laying off hundreds of workers, killing nearly finished projects and becoming more cautious . Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2024 The layoffs have continued this year, with Google cutting about a thousand employees; Twitch, an interactive livestreaming service that includes gaming content, laying off 500 employees, a third of its staff; and Amazon firing hundreds of workers at Amazon Prime Video and MGM Studios. Richard Halstead, The Mercury News, 20 Feb. 2024 Sonata Therapeutics, a startup created two years ago through the merger of two Flagship Pioneering companies, has laid off about a third of its staff. Allison Deangelis, STAT, 16 Feb. 2024 By contrast, Boeing laid off employees and worked to rehire once business conditions improved. Liz Alderman, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2024 Lucid also laid off 18 percent of its workforce and cut production targets multiple times. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 15 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'layoff.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1748, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of layoff was in 1748

Dictionary Entries Near layoff

Cite this Entry

“Layoff.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/layoff. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

layoff

1 of 2 noun
lay·​off ˈlā-ˌȯf How to pronounce layoff (audio)
1
: the act of laying off an employee or a work force
2
: a period during which there is no activity

lay off

2 of 2 verb
(ˈ)lā-ˈȯf
1
: to mark or measure off
2
: to stop employing (a person) often temporarily
lay off workers
3
: to stop doing or taking something
lay off of that stuff

More from Merriam-Webster on layoff

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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