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

Definition of layabout

: a lazy shiftless person : idler

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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 Hulu’s show tapped in to a certain kind of layabout, day-drinking malaise that is currently missing from a lot of people’s summers. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "Hulu Canceled High Fidelity Right When We Needed It Most," 7 Aug. 2020 Fourteen-year-old Adunni lives in a Nigerian village with her layabout, alcoholic father and two brothers. Tsitsi Dangarembga, New York Times, "In Rural Nigeria, a Heroine Who Wants to Be Defined by More Than Marriage," 28 Feb. 2020 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 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.

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First Known Use of layabout

1932, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for layabout

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The first known use of layabout was in 1932

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Cite this Entry

“Layabout.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce layabout (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of layabout

informal : a lazy person

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