lay off

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lay off

1. verb To end someone's employment, usually due to a significant change in the company. A noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "off." How many people do you think will be laid off in this merger? I figured they would lay me off, I just didn't think it would be this soon.
2. verb To stop bothering someone or leave them alone. Lay off, will you? I'm working as fast as I can! Hey, lay off your brother, OK? Please don't be so rough with him.
3. verb To stop doing or using something. Well, you need to lay off the chocolates if you want to lose weight!
4. verb To designate the boundaries of something. Where is the pool going to go? Have you laid off that part of the yard yet?
5. noun The act of ending someone's employment, usually due to a significant change in the company. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word ("layoff"). Do you think this merger will be accompanied by layoffs?
6. noun A period of inactivity. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word ("layoff"). The team was rusty after such a long layoff between games.
See also: lay, off

lie off

Of a sailing vessel, to remain a safe distance away (from something). The harbor is much too shallow for the cruise liner to enter, so instead it lies off and sends passengers ashore on dinghies. We had best lie off the ship till we know for certain its allegiance.
See also: lie, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

lay someone off (from something)

to put an end to someone's employment at something. The automobile factory laid five hundred people off from work. They laid off a lot of people. We knew they were going to lay a lot of people off.
See also: lay, off

lay off (someone or something)

to leave someone or something alone. Lay off the booze for a while, why don't ya? Lay off me! I didn't do anything!
See also: lay, off

lay off

((of) someone or something) to stop doing something to someone or something; to stop bothering someone or something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Lay off of me! You've said enough. Please lay off the chicken. I cooked it as best I could.
See also: lay, off
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

lay off

1. Terminate a person from employment. For example, When they lost the contract, they had to lay off a hundred workers. This expression formerly referred to temporary dismissals, as during a recession, with the idea that workers would be hired back when conditions improved, but with the tendency of businesses to downsize in the 1990s it came to mean "terminate permanently." [First half of 1800s]
2. Mark off the boundaries, as in Let's lay off an area for a flower garden. [Mid-1700s]
3. Stop doing something, quit, as in Lay off that noise for a minute, so the baby can get to sleep, or She resolved to lay off smoking. [Early 1900s]
4. Stop bothering or annoying someone, as in Lay off or I'll tell the teacher. [Slang; c. 1900]
5. Place all or part of a bet with another bookmaker so as to reduce the risk. For example, Some bookmakers protect themselves by laying off very large bets with other bookmakers. [Mid-1900s]
See also: lay, off
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

lay off

1. To terminate someone's employment, especially temporarily; suspend someone from work: The company had to lay off two dozen workers or it would have gone bankrupt. They had to lay the clerk off for stealing mail.
2. To mark the boundaries of some region and reserve that region; mark something off: We laid off the front part of the yard for a garden and left the back for a lawn. We used lime to lay the field off for the game.
3. To stop using or doing something: I'm going to have to lay off the cigarettes; they're making me sick.
4. Slang To stop bothering someone. Used chiefly as an angry command: Look, I'm trying to work, so just lay off me, okay?
See also: lay, off
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

lay off

See also: lay, off

lay off (someone/something)

in. to stop bothering or harming someone or something; to stop being concerned about someone or something. Lay off the booze for a while, why don’t ya?
See also: lay, off, someone, something
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Handwerker and Mason use data for all employers identified in the Mass Layoff Statistics program from 1995 to 2013 (when this program ended because of budget cuts), as well as a group of similar employers without a layoff in the same quarter.
In the 2008-09 school year, 2,144 employees received a layoff notice and in 2009-10, some 450 employees received a notice.
Where a certified employee requests a lateral transfer resulting from a layoff, he or she will receive preference for any current vacant position in the same agency whose classification has the same maximum permissible salary.
Procedural fairness, managers' self-esteem, and managerial behaviors following a layoff. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Making Processes, 83, 1-32.
Specifically, for the year after a layoff occurs, CEOs of the 229 firms studied received 22.8% more in total pay than CEOs of firms that did not have layoffs, reports Craig Rennie, assistant professor of finance, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
For the year after a layoff occurred, CEOs of those firms received 22.8 percent more in total pay (cash plus bonus and stock-based compensation that includes restricted stock grants, stock option grants and long-term incentive pay) than did the CEOs of firms that did not have layoffs.
Such a relative assessment of downsizing provides a more accurate means of examining the impact of a layoff on a company's financial performance.
An extended mass layoff is defined as a layoff of at least 31 days that involves 50 or more individuals from a single establishment.
Injuries heal faster with prescribed movement, which means that a layoff may not live up to your worst fears.
They cannot wait until the week before a layoff to take inventory," Tunick-Morello adds.
I believe that corporate paternalism - when practiced for its own sake - is bad for the country, its companies, their shareholders, and, in particular, for those employees who often sleep in the comfort of the corporate womb, sometimes awakening to a layoff trauma that could have been anticipated and avoided.
The announcement date is the first report of a layoff or plan to layoff employees as found in the database.
If you have exhausted all of these alternatives and a layoff is inevitable, it is important to minimize the negative affects on office morale.
Madden [1987] does relate wage loss from a layoff to pre-layoff tenure, but she calculates the wage loss as the difference between the wage on the job from which the individual was laid off and the wage on the new job.
An example of a layoff indirectly related to Katrina is an establishment that curtailed operations because of a shortage of parts and/or materials from its supplier whose production or delivery was affected by the hurricane.