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

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

For the newly unemployed, Charles Rotblut, the vice president at American Association of Individual Investors & AAII Journal Editor, recommends taking the first day after a layoff to review all the financial documents and assess insurance policies. WSJ, "What to Do After You Get Fired or Laid Off," 1 Dec. 2018 What started as salary cuts and a few hundred layoffs in late October quickly escalated into furloughs for hundreds more employees. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Faraday Future employees sue investor over ‘conspiracy’ to destroy the EV startup," 14 Nov. 2018 Its parent company plans significant layoffs in perhaps the richest era of satire known to humanity. Glenn Fleishman, Fortune, "No Joke: The Onion Faces Layoffs by Univision, Says Report," 6 July 2018 To trim expenses, Qualcomm has announced around 1,800 layoffs in the U.S. so far – including 1,300 in San Diego. Mike Freeman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Amid cost cuts, Qualcomm eyes partial sale of health tech subsidiary Qualcomm Life," 21 June 2018 And many need the extra income after enduring long layoffs in the recession, James says. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Older workers get flexible hours, work-at-home options to keep them from retirement," 21 May 2018 In addition to 108 layoffs in San Francisco, 49 employees in Marin County were let go as the company restructures. Jenna Lyons, San Francisco Chronicle, "Autodesk lays off 108 employees in San Francisco," 2 Feb. 2018 MMOBR Daybreak, makers of Everquest and H1Z1, just suffered a round of layoffs last week. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Heroes of the Storm winds down, Monster Hunter adds The Witcher's Geralt," 14 Dec. 2018 Some current and former employees said bloated contracts for talent weighed the company down and led to layoffs. Fox News, "How a weakened ESPN became consumed by politics," 25 May 2018

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

16 Mar 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

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