[ biz-nis ]
/ ˈbɪz nɪs /
an occupation, profession, or trade: His business is poultry farming.
the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.
a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern.
volume of trade; patronage: Most of the store's business comes from local families.
a building or site where commercial work is carried on, as a factory, store, or office; place of work: His business is on the corner of Broadway and Elm Street.
that with which a person is principally and seriously concerned: Words are a writer's business.
something with which a person is rightfully concerned: What they are doing is none of my business.
affair; project: We were exasperated by the whole business.
an assignment or task; chore: It's your business to wash the dishes now.
Also called piece of business, stage business. Theater. a movement or gesture, especially a minor one, used by an actor to give expressiveness, drama, detail, etc., to a scene or to help portray a character.
excrement: used as a euphemism.
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.
CAN YOU FEEL THE WEAL WITH THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ?
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Question 1 of 7
Idioms for business
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
synonym study for business
1. See occupation.
pronunciation note for business
OTHER WORDS FROM business
an·ti·busi·ness, adjectivein·ter·busi·ness, adjectivemul·ti·busi·ness, adjectivenon·busi·ness, adjective
o·ver·bus·i·ness, nounpro·busi·ness, adjective
Words nearby business
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for mean business
/ (ˈbɪznɪs) /
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)
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
Idioms and Phrases with mean business (1 of 2)
Be in earnest. For example, He really means business with this deadline. This idiom uses business in the sense of “a serious endeavor.” [Mid-1800s]
Idioms and Phrases with mean business (2 of 2)
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.