Definition of furlough in English:



mass noun
  • Leave of absence, especially that granted to a member of the services or a missionary.

    ‘a civil servant home on furlough’
    count noun ‘a six-week furlough in Australia’
    • ‘Uncle Hugh and Auntie Jan went out to Africa as missionaries and used to visit my mother and our family when they were over on furlough.’
    • ‘During the 1957-58 academic year, Kelley was on furlough and returned to Southern as visiting professor of Old Testament.’
    • ‘In 1980, a missionary couple from the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board was declared personae non gratae by the convention, and letters were sent to Richmond requesting that they not return from their furlough.’
    • ‘Missionaries interested in furloughing at the Havner House click here to submit an application.’
    • ‘When Bernard was home on furlough in 1917, they met more than once.’
    • ‘When the missionary is furloughing, the church assists with the spiritual nurture, care and physical needs of the missionary such as helping to locate housing while on furlough.’
    • ‘Awards for furloughing missionaries are usually full-tuition grants.’
    • ‘I had a 10-day furlough from Louisiana, and the trip home took three days each way.’
    • ‘The only restrictions placed on officers granting furloughs limited leaves to no more than thirty days for 5 percent of the unit at one time.’
    • ‘Republic Pictures hoped to make a movie with Gene Autry while he was on furlough from the Army Air Corps.’
    • ‘Joseph was home on furlough July through mid-September.’
    • ‘Harrison went home on furlough in 1864 to campaign against pro-Southern Democrats in Indiana.’
    • ‘He has never once been granted a furlough - even to attend his mother's funeral.’
    • ‘We went to France for a little furlough as Marty and Grant call it.’
    • ‘She received a handful of furloughs, but never traveled farther than back to her home in Alabama until her discharge, which took place at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina.’
    • ‘His occasional trips to England, on furlough or for training, were when he felt most out of water.’
    • ‘In October, he was allowed home on a two-week furlough - and refused to go back.’
    • ‘I'm on furlough at the moment with a busted knee (an old friend which has been with me for the better part of a decade), but intend to resume fencing as soon as I stop hurting.’
    • ‘It has also promised better treatment of sick soldiers, and has vowed to expand the programme of 15-day furloughs introduced last month - despite the failure of about 30 soldiers to catch their flights back to Iraq.’
    • ‘I have just learned that Cousin George has got his furlough extended thirty days.’
    • ‘Honey, you have to keep in mind that his furlough will start when he leaves his ship, not when he gets to San Francisco.’
    break, rest, period of leave, day off, week off, month off, recess, school holiday, half-term
    View synonyms


[with object]usually as adjective furloughed
  • Grant leave of absence to.

    ‘furloughed workers’


Early 17th century: from Dutch verlof, modelled on German Verlaub, of West Germanic origin and related to leave.