lay off - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb
present tense
I/you/we/theylay off
he/she/itlays off
present participlelaying off
past tenselaid off
past participlelaid off
  1. 1
    [transitive] to end someone’s employment, especially temporarily, because there is not enough work for them

    They’ve had to cut back production and lay off workers.

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] lay off something informal to stop doing or using something, especially for a short period of time

    I had to lay off the medication for a while to see if that was causing my headaches.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] [usually in imperative] lay off someone/something informal to stop doing something that is annoying someone

    Lay off! I’m trying to study.

    lay off doing something:

    Just lay off complaining for a minute!

See also main entry: lay