layoff

noun
lay·​off | \ ˈlā-ˌȯf \

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

According to Huffington Post reporter Dave Jamieson, GM has set aside $2 billion to pay for layoffs and buyouts. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "General Motors is cutting 14,000 jobs and focusing on self-driving and electric vehicles," 26 Nov. 2018 Benefit applications, which are a proxy for layoffs, have been at ultra-low levels for an extended period, reflecting the fact that the nation’s unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level in nearly five decades. Martin Crutsinger, The Seattle Times, "US durable goods orders fall 4.4 percent in October," 21 Nov. 2018 Not only was the famed Outdoorman Store run by Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) and his best pal Ed Alzate (Hector Elizondo) at risk for layoffs, but Mike and Ed were also at odds about whether or not to sell the business. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Is 'Last Man Standing' Star Hector Elizondo Leaving the Show?," 19 Oct. 2018 The board initially adopted the old tenure language, which only allowed for layoffs of tenured faculty for just cause or in the case of a system-wide financial emergency. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Tenured Kentucky professors could be fired under a late addition to the state budget," 28 Mar. 2018 According to reports, the company's 18 employees have been notified of the decisions and layoffs are expected to follow. The Editors, Marie Claire, "Ivanka Trump's Clothing Brand Is Officially Shutting Down," 24 July 2018 Employees hired after July 1, 2017, do not qualify for the no-layoff provisions. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "State Employees To Receive Bonuses Soon As Part Of Agreement Between Unions, Malloy," 3 July 2018 The store began layoffs and closing procedures at Edens Plaza last month, after parent company The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. was forced into liquidation in April. Kathy Routliffe, chicagotribune.com, "Despite big ticket losses, Wilmette retail vacancies still low, board members told," 12 July 2018 The Houston energy services company, a subsidiary of General Electric Co. of Boston, reported the layoffs at its Schertz location to the state in a workforce adjustment and retraining notification or WARN notice Friday. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "Baker Hughes to lay off hundreds at closing Schertz facility," 22 June 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

5 Jan 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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