Idiom:  lay someone off (lay someone off)


Idiom:  lay somebody off (lay off someone)

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

Note:  The past tense of lay is irregular:  laid

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.
  • Companies often lay off workers in December at 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.


  • give someone notice
  • give someone the ax
  • let someone go
  • give someone their walking papers

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Your turn to use the idiom "lay somebody off"

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