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English as a Second Language/To cause someone to lose their job



I have two questions:

1. What is the best and most consise word or phrase for "to cause someone or a company to lose their job or to go bankrupt by becoming their rival (in the same neighborhood, city or country) and doing better than them" or "to get a promotion and replace someone who previously had the job (in a company or office) by doing the same job better than them" ?

2. What is the best and most consise word or phrase for "to deliberately cause someone to lose their job (in an unfair way)" ?

Thank you very much in advance.



I wanted to give you one more word for pushing someone out of his or her position or job.  It came to me today out of the blue I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier: oust.

She was ousted out of her position.

Hi Mohammed,

This is a challenging question because it is basically a vocabulary question.  The words/expression will vary from region to region and country to country.  With that being said, I can tell you the most common phrases in my area.

When one company competes against another, and is so successful that the other company goes bankrupt, you can say that a company "was driven" out of business.  Example:

Company A drove company B out of business.
Company B was driven into the ground by Company A.
Company A's prices were so low that company B was driven out of business.

For an employee who comes to replace another employee (no matter how that replacement came about), we simply say, "John replaced Robert."  You can also say, "Robert was replaced by John."  A very similar word is "usurp."  "Usurp" is not commonly used, however, because it is mostly used when positions of great power are taken by force.  Kings and Queens are usurped.

To answer your second question (to deliberately cause someone to lose his or her job) it's commonly said that, "John got Robert fired."  This phrase implies unfairness.  If Robert lost his job due to his own incompetence, we wouldn't need to mention John.

Hope this helps.  

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I can answer any question about the English language or US culture for non-native English speakers. I will not answer homework questions.


Native English speaker, experience teaching English to ELLs.

Bachelor's Degree, Seattle University

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