business

[biz-nis]
||

noun

adjective

of, noting, or pertaining to business, its organization, or its procedures.
containing, suitable for, or welcoming business or commerce: New York is a good business town.

Idioms

    business is business, profit has precedence over personal considerations: He is reluctant to fire his friend, but business is business.
    do one's business, (usually of an animal or child) to defecate or urinate: housebreaking a puppy to do his business outdoors.
    get down to business, to apply oneself to serious matters; concentrate on work: They finally got down to business and signed the contract.
    give someone the business, Informal.
    1. to make difficulties for someone; treat harshly: Instead of a straight answer they give him the business with a needless run-around.
    2. to scold severely; give a tongue-lashing to: The passengers will give the bus driver the business if he keeps driving so recklessly.
    have no business, to have no right: You have no business coming into this house.
    mean business, to propose to take action or be serious in intent; be in earnest: By the fire in his eye we knew that he meant business.
    mind one's own business, to refrain from meddling in the affairs of others: When he inquired about the noise coming from the neighbor's apartment, he was told to mind his own business.

Origin of business

before 950; Middle English; Old English bisignes. See busy, -ness
Related formsan·ti·busi·ness, adjectivein·ter·busi·ness, adjectivemul·ti·busi·ness, adjectivenon·busi·ness, adjectiveo·ver·bus·i·ness, nounpro·busi·ness, adjective

Synonyms for business

Synonym study

1. See occupation.

Pronunciation note

See isn't.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for business's

business

noun

a trade or profession
an industrial, commercial, or professional operation; purchase and sale of goods and servicesthe tailoring business
a commercial or industrial establishment, such as a firm or factory
commercial activity; dealings (esp in the phrase do business)
volume or quantity of commercial activitybusiness is poor today
commercial policy or procedureovercharging is bad business
proper or rightful concern or responsibility (often in the phrase mind one's own business)
a special task; assignment
a matter or matters to be attended tothe business of the meeting
an affair; mattera queer business; I'm tired of the whole business
serious work or activityget down to business
a complicated affair; rigmarole
informal a vaguely defined collection or areajets, fast cars, and all that business
Also called: stage business theatre an incidental action, such as lighting a pipe, performed by an actor for dramatic effect
a group of ferrets
euphemistic defecation (esp in the phrase do one's business)
slang prostitution
like nobody's business informal extremely well or fast
mean business to be in earnest
do the business informal to achieve what is requiredit tastes vile, but it does the business

Word Origin for business

Old English bisignis solicitude, attentiveness, from bisig busy + -nis -ness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for business's

business

n.

Old English bisignes (Northumbrian) "care, anxiety, occupation," from bisig "careful, anxious, busy, occupied, diligent" (see busy (adj.)) + -ness. Middle English sense of "state of being much occupied or engaged" (mid-14c.) is obsolete, replaced by busyness.

Sense of "a person's work, occupation" is first recorded late 14c. (in late Old English bisig (adj.) appears as a noun with the sense "occupation, state of employment"). Meaning "what one is about at the moment" is from 1590s. Sense of "trade, commercial engagements" is first attested 1727. In 17c. it also could mean "sexual intercourse." Modern two-syllable pronunciation is 17c.

Business card first attested 1840; business letter from 1766. Business end "the practical or effective part" (of something) is American English, by 1874. Phrase business as usual attested from 1865. To mean business "be intent on serious action" is from 1856. To mind (one's) own business is from 1620s. Johnson's dictionary also has busiless "At leisure; without business; unemployed."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with business's

business

In addition to the idiom beginning with business

  • business as usual

also see:

  • funny business
  • get down to (business)
  • go about (one's business)
  • have no business doing
  • land-office business
  • like mad (nobody's business)
  • make it one's business
  • mean business
  • mind one's own business
  • monkey business
  • none of one's business
  • out of business
  • send someone about his or her business
  • the business
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.