Idiom:  lay someone off (lay someone off)


Idiom:  lay (sb) off | lay off (sb)

  • to end a worker’s job (usually because of economic difficulties)

Note:  The past tense of lay is irregular:  laid

A layoff is the noun form of this verb.

Example sentences

— I heard General Electric is going to lay off 1,000 workers this week.

— My dad had worked for his company for almost 20 years when they laid him off

— We're all afraid they will start to lay people off soon so everyone is saving up their vacation hours.

— I see you were laid off from your last job. Can you explain why?

— When I got laid off I felt so depressed and embarrassed I didn't leave my house for a few months.

— Fortunately, I was able to get unemployment compensation the week after I was laid off.

 What's the difference between a furlough and a layoff? A furlough is normally temporary but if your company lays you off it is permanent.

— Companies often lay off workers in December during the holidays which compounds the negative financial impact.

— Our company laid off three people in my department and now they expect me to do two of those people's jobs!

— Unfortunately, I didn't qualify for unemployment benefits because I'd only worked three months before I was laid off.

— I just activated my minimum payment insurance on my credit card because I'm worried I might get laid off.

 Well, I wasn't the only one laid off. The company laid off everyone in my department so it wasn't related to my performance.

— The worst part of the job was that I had to lay off 250 employees. It was an extremely difficult and emotionally draining process. Several months later I was also laid off.


  • give someone notice
  • make sb redundant
  • give someone the ax
  • let someone go
  • give someone their walking papers
  • give sb the pink slip
  • give sb the boot

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