layoff

noun
lay·​off | \ ˈlā-ˌȯf How to pronounce layoff (audio) \

Definition of layoff

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a period of inactivity or idleness
2 : the act of laying off an employee or a workforce also : shutdown

lay off

verb
laid off; laying off; lays off

Definition of lay off (Entry 2 of 2)

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
4a : 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Boykins and the fire union have disputed the mayor's point, arguing the city could find a way to cut city costs or otherwise pay for Prop B without layoffs. Jasper Scherer, Houston Chronicle, "Houston Police Officers Union endorses Turner for re-election," 17 July 2019 Some employees have apparently already been notified that they will be let go, with other layoffs planned in the near future. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Huawei will reportedly lay off hundreds of US workers," 14 July 2019 By that point, layoffs were no longer considered quite so boast-worthy. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "The short but destructive history of mass layoffs," 12 July 2019 The 2018 Diana winner has been training well, and layoffs don’t seem to matter as much with turf horses. courant.com, "Clancy’s Call: Saratoga," 12 July 2019 The company did not respond to The Arizona Republic when asked whether current medical staff would need to reapply for jobs or if there will be layoffs. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "New Arizona prison health-care provider has history of problems, donations to politicians," 10 July 2019 CEO Christian Sewing confirmed during a conference call that layoffs had started Monday in Asia. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Layoffs have started at Deutsche Bank," 8 July 2019 Jonathan dos Santos converted on a layoff from Raul Jimenez to score the game’s only goal in the 73rd minute. Dan Santaromita, orlandosentinel.com, "Mexico defeats USMNT to win Gold Cup, remains atop Concacaf perch," 7 July 2019 Her first year brought a massive budget deficit and layoffs. Talia Richman, baltimoresun.com, "Amid Baltimore's struggles, many see schools CEO Sonja Santelises as stabilizing force," 3 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'layoff.' 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 layoff

Noun

1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1748, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for layoff

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for layoff

The first known use of layoff was in 1748

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More Definitions for layoff

layoff

noun

Financial Definition of layoff

What It Is

A layoff is a temporary or permanent termination of employment by an employer.

How It Works

Let's say John Doe works for Company XYZ. He has worked there for 15 years. Company XYZ begins having cash flow problems and has to reduce its labor expense in order to avoid going out of business. In turn, it decides to shed 1,000 workers, of which John is one. This mass termination is called a layoff.

A layoff is not the same as being fired. Firings typically occur when an employee is at fault or has disobeyed company policies; terminations are not necessarily a direct reflection of a particular employee's performance (although it takes a village to wreck a company).

Why It Matters

From an investing standpoint, layoffs indicate a struggling company and thus are red flags for their investors. Layoffs can be surprises to people, and they are one of many reasons that investors should have emergency funds on hand at all times.

However, people often get some indication that a layoff is coming. The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires employers to provide 60 days' notice (sometimes more) of plant closings and mass layoffs. However, this applies to companies with more than 100 employees (and that 100 generally cannot include people who have been with the company for fewer than six months or part-timers).

Source: Investing Answers

layoff

noun

English Language Learners Definition of layoff

: the act of ending the employment of a worker or group of workers
: a period of time during which there is no activity

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More from Merriam-Webster on layoff

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with layoff

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for layoff

Spanish Central: Translation of layoff

Nglish: Translation of layoff for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of layoff for Arabic Speakers

Comments on layoff

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