- to make difficulties for someone; treat harshly: Instead of a straight answer they give him the business with a needless run-around.
- to scold severely; give a tongue-lashing to: The passengers will give the bus driver the business if he keeps driving so recklessly.
Origin of business
Synonyms for business
Related Words for businessfield, work, employment, trade, firm, shop, corporation, partnership, factory, store, venture, house, organization, institution, market, transaction, deal, industry, trading, manufacturing
Examples from the Web for business
Contemporary Examples of business
I was a little mystified at how benignly he responded to my questions about his business activities.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003
January 7, 2015
This reporter knocked at the Wilkins home on Tuesday morning but received neither an answer nor the business end of a shotgun.The 7-Year-Old Plane Crash Survivor’s Brutal Journey Through the Woods
January 7, 2015
Together, they crossed over the International Bridges on foot into Juarez to conduct some business.
You see, there is another Mexico, one that is not so appealing to business but well known to law enforcement.Why Mexicans Are Enraged by Obama’s Big Tuesday Meeting
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
January 6, 2015
The woman in question, meanwhile, has business of her own to take care of—she is reported to be shopping a memoir.From Playboy Prince to Dirty Old Man?
January 5, 2015
Historical Examples of business
This business attended to, Robert bent his steps to Mr. Paine's office.
Well, if you have any business, you may state it at once, as I am quite busy.
He tried to recall some forgotten detail of the business that might serve to occupy him.
"You certainly do know your business, son," said Uncle Peter, fervently.
You don't have to be Mr. William Wisenham to do business with him.
Word Origin for business
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 is obsolete, replaced by busyness.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."
In addition to the idiom beginning with business
- business as usual
- 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