Definition of lay someone off in US English:

lay someone off

phrasal verb

  • Discharge a worker temporarily or permanently because of a shortage of work.

    • ‘His wife, a former textile worker, took care of him and his son when he was laid off from his factory.’
    • ‘If something goes wrong, if somebody gets laid off, if you have a child that gets sick, you go right off the cliff.’
    • ‘But after six months, she was laid off as business slowed down.’
    • ‘As many as 50 staff in York could be laid off in the management ranking process, as the company cuts up to 700 jobs nationally.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, her co-workers at the hotel told her that the next day two new workers were hired to do the same job she had been laid off from.’
    • ‘If you remain with the company, what are the chances you will be laid off?’
    • ‘My best friend's husband got laid off, which I knew.’
    • ‘The bodyguards at the headquarters in Sofia have been laid off, and 30 luxury limousines have been sold.’
    • ‘This isn't the first time (and unlikely to be the last), but a group of striking workers in Korea have been laid off by text message by their employer.’
    • ‘When I got laid off in January, I decided to start cooking once more.’
    make redundant, dismiss, let go, discharge, give notice to, pay off, release
    View synonyms