lay·​about | \ ˈlā-ə-ˌbau̇t How to pronounce layabout (audio) \

Definition of layabout

: a lazy shiftless person : idler

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of layabout in a Sentence

she regretted ever asking that layabout to be her roommate, as he created the mess of two people and refused to help with anything

Recent Examples on the Web

Orwell thought of the poor as decent people, but he’d be baffled to observe today that the welfare state has created a class of layabouts who, liberated from economic anguish, shackle themselves to screens, drugs, alcohol. Kyle Smith, National Review, "What Would Orwell Think of Us?," 11 June 2019 The food company, widely admired in the industry for its track record of turning around aging brands, sees opportunity for the Andy Capp’s line of snacks, named after the layabout star of the British comic strip.... Aaron Back, WSJ, "Andy Capp’s Fries Get 4/20 Buzz," 12 Apr. 2019 That gives the lie to a recurrent Republican meme that disability is little more than a haven for layabouts and malingerers. Michael Hiltzik,, "Social Security and Medicare trustees confirm: GOP policies have hurt both programs," 5 June 2018 Americans may be big enough to contain both frontier individualists and comfort-seeking layabouts. Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie,, "Don’t get too comfortable: America’s relentless pursuit of convenience and relaxation," 19 May 2018 Just a few feet separate the chunky Balenciaga Triple S sneakers ($895) from the earth-tone Rainbow flip-flops ($54) favored by Malibu layabouts. New York Times, "Nordstrom Men: Choose Your Own Adventure," 9 May 2018 Now it’s 10 years later; the kaiju-from-another-dimension invasion (the worst kind) has been quelled, and young Jake is a scavenger and a layabout and a character arc waiting to be put into motion. Michael Phillips,, "'Pacific Rim: Uprising' review: This time, it's impersonal," 21 Mar. 2018 These layabouts wreak enough havoc, what with their aimless loquacity and their tendencies to monopolize wall outlets. Justin Peters, Slate Magazine, "Should This Thing Be Smart? Coffee Mug Edition.," 20 Dec. 2017 But just as millennials chafe at being labeled tattooed layabouts, funny people in their middle years want to be seen as more than just fussy, bossy or out of touch. Nara Schoenberg,, "Over age 34 and still funny? Second City has a class for that.," 20 Oct. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of layabout

1932, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about layabout

Statistics for layabout

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for layabout

The first known use of layabout was in 1932

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for layabout



English Language Learners Definition of layabout

informal : a lazy person

More from Merriam-Webster on layabout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with layabout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for layabout

Comments on layabout

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


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!