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See also: Furlough



From Dutch verlof (furlough), probably from Middle Low German verlōf (furlough, permission) (possibly via German Verlaub), from the verb verlōven (to allow), from Old Saxon far- + levian (to give over, leave).

From Middle Low German also German Verlaub, Danish forlov. Doublet of leave.


  • Hyphenation: fur‧lough
  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈfɜː(ɹ).ləʊ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈfɝ.loʊ/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɜː(ɹ)ləʊ


furlough (countable and uncountable, plural furloughs)

  1. A leave of absence or vacation.
    1. (US) especially one granted to a member of the armed forces, or to a prisoner.
    2. (British) especially one granted to a missionary.
  2. The documents authorizing such leave.
  3. A period of unpaid time off, used by an employer to reduce costs.
    • 2008 November 7, Jon Ortiz, “State workers rip Schwarzenegger's job furlough plan”, in The Sacramento Bee[2]:
      The state estimates the one-day-a-month furlough spread over the 18 months of the plan would amount to a 5 percent cut in pay.




furlough (third-person singular simple present furloughs, present participle furloughing, simple past and past participle furloughed)

  1. (transitive) To grant a furlough to (someone).
  2. (transitive) To have (an employee) not work in order to reduce costs; to send (someone) on furlough.


Further reading[edit]