Definition of business in English:

business

Pronunciation /ˈbiznəs/ /ˈbɪznəs/

See synonyms for business

Translate business into Spanish

noun

  • 1A person's regular occupation, profession, or trade.

    ‘she had to do a lot of smiling in her business’
    • ‘are you here on business?’
    • ‘He was in Japan, a guest of the Japanese consulate on business in his other profession as writer and journalist.’
    • ‘Ashraf regularly flew to Pakistan from Glasgow airport on business.’
    • ‘Zurich surveyed firms to see if they carry out risk assessments of employees before letting them drive on business.’
    • ‘The Prospective Group carried on business in promotion and market consultancy.’
    • ‘He was in Europe on business and, having read about the Silver Arrow on its website, was determined to compete.’
    • ‘We live in better houses, we enjoy better holiday accommodation and when we go away on business we get a better deal.’
    • ‘It claimed to offer free parking and transport to Manchester Airport for customers flying out on business or holidays.’
    • ‘Electors can appoint a proxy if they are unable to vote themselves, if they are out of the country on holiday or on business or in the armed forces.’
    • ‘McClung, who travels extensively on business, is eligible for major bonus points.’
    • ‘I was seven years old, and my father had been away on business for a month.’
    • ‘Stewart never voted for devolution - he was in Dubai on business at the time of the 1997 referendum.’
    • ‘When travelling away on business, always remember to pack a shaver.’
    • ‘All three learned well and were good to their mother when their father was away on business, which he often was.’
    • ‘Darlington's owner George Reynolds was unable to be contacted today as he was in Norway on business for the next few days.’
    • ‘When you stay in a hotel room on business and not on vacation, it's still a sort of like a vacation.’
    • ‘When travelling on business, always pack an extra change of clothes.’
    • ‘When I first flew to Manhattan on business I stayed in the New Yorker Hotel.’
    • ‘He told the jury that he had expected to travel north with his dad on business on that particular day in April last year.’
    • ‘For years, her mother travelled to London on business yet they rarely met up.’
    • ‘As for me, I'm probably going to have visit Kiev on business some time this year.’
    work, line of work, line, occupation, profession, career, employment, job, day job, position, pursuit, vocation, calling, field, sphere, walk of life, trade, craft
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An activity that someone is engaged in.
      ‘what is your business here?’
      • ‘Her fortnight in the city passed quickly, a whirl of business and unavoidable social engagements.’
      • ‘Nor was this the only business in which Bevan engaged in the course of that year.’
      • ‘It will be up to him to engage in the smoke-and-mirror business of political negotiation at a European level in the next week.’
      • ‘All of an auctioneer's business requires the trust and goodwill of the public.’
      • ‘Agencies of the state, in the course of their business, are required to keep a running record of their areas of activity.’
      • ‘Brousse gave the impression of being a man in charge of his business.’
      • ‘It just seems to fly in the face of the way we do business as law enforcement officers.’
      • ‘The real answer is for the Government to protect the post offices' core business.’
      • ‘Investment trusts are companies whose business it is to make money from investments.’
      • ‘What the Business Committee does is its business, but it is a relatively informal arrangement.’
      • ‘In my business the less you worry about making money the more likely you are to make it.’
      • ‘This should help to filter the heavy volumes when schools resume business in September.’
      • ‘I really do not think it is the business of retailers to have control over editorial content of magazines.’
      • ‘The liberal view was that religion was a private matter; it was not the business of the state to enforce a particular creed.’
    2. 1.2A person's concern.
      ‘it's not my business to interfere’
      • ‘the neighbors make it their business to know all about you’
      • ‘I know that his personal well-being is none of my business, but somehow it's hard not to worry about Harry.’
      • ‘It's none of our business to control what the NCC thinks or says about politics.’
      • ‘I did some other things that were on the list but those are none of your business.’
      • ‘To be told as you have been that it's none of your business is ridiculous.’
      • ‘Yes, but there is a whole bunch of people sitting at home saying it's none of my business.’
      • ‘It's none of your business what goes on in the bedrooms of consenting adults.’
      • ‘We, as a society, cannot afford to turn our heads and claim it is none of our business.’
      • ‘If he does not manage to get his work done by a certain time, it is his own incompetence and none of my business.’
      • ‘My colleagues laugh at you, and people walk past as if you're none of their business.’
      • ‘The location is a farm in deepest Pennsylvania, the season is summer and the year is none of your business.’
      • ‘I'm not an American and I'm not a Republican so in a way it is none of my business.’
      • ‘The police may be there to uphold the law, but our personal beliefs are none of their business.’
      • ‘One of he things we forget is that what people think of us is none of our business.’
      • ‘Internal church or other religious affairs are simply no business whatsoever of any government.’
      • ‘One of its aims is to help staff appreciate when problems they notice are private and none of their business or ours.’
      • ‘They all started to scold me for something which was totally none of their business.’
      • ‘Whatever was going to happen after they did their job was none of their business.’
      • ‘It's none of my business and if you ask me, stuff like that is meant to be secret.’
      • ‘He was about to tell him off, to tell him that what went on between him and Xavier was none of his business.’
      • ‘One of the ballet mothers has her nose in everyone's business no matter how personal it is.’
      concern, affair, responsibility, province, preserve, duty, function, task, assignment, obligation, problem, worry, lookout
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Work that has to be done or matters that have to be attended to.
      ‘government business’
      • ‘let's get down to business’
      • ‘This year however she returned to school late due to business she had to attend back home.’
      • ‘After giving up that business they attended a number of courses lasting from one to three days.’
      • ‘Balloonist Rick Walczak plans to attend to some unfinished business in the next few weeks.’
      • ‘We simply have more important business to attend to right now than nursing an old grudge.’
      • ‘This means I have to go out tomorrow to attend to my business, whether I like it or not.’
      • ‘Be that as it may, one can't help but wonder why Montserrat does not attend to its own business.’
      • ‘See, Graham is attending to some unfinished business, and helping some friends out at the same time.’
      • ‘The participants in the competition went about their business quite as a matter of fact.’
      • ‘For six months, he attended to farm business, only playing rugby for Scotland.’
      • ‘If you have no serious business to attend to the next day, i strongly advise you give this stuff a try.’
      • ‘Oh, may the workday pass quickly as there is serious business to attend to this evening.’
      • ‘Nor was it a case of being called away to attend to urgent state business in Brussels.’
      • ‘Calcavecchia has had unfinished business to attend to in the transatlantic challenge for some time.’
      • ‘Father had a little bit of business to attend to so I spent two nights at the inn.’
      • ‘Reluctantly, they did, leaving me to attend to some unfinished business.’
      • ‘She wrote a quick note saying she was sorry and that she had some business to attend to.’
      • ‘Mr Crausby blamed changes to the benefits payment system for the decline of day-to-day post office business.’
      • ‘It is also about the Post Office seeking to generate new business for itself.’
      • ‘On Monday he took his son to his first day at school, and so yesterday was delayed in an office elsewhere by leftover business.’
      • ‘We were then told we could use the post office for routine business.’
  • 2The practice of making one's living by engaging in commerce.

    ‘the jewelry business’
    • ‘the business community’
    • ‘the world of business’
    • ‘whom do you do business with in Manila?’
    • ‘Then there's Lord Haskin's task force, attempting to reduce the burden of regulation on business.’
    • ‘He believed it would have an adverse affect on business and trade in the community.’
    • ‘He believed it would have adverse effect on business and trade in the community.’
    • ‘So then what of the world of business, trade, professions, academia and research?’
    • ‘Promising to give prizes or bonuses on business trading without permit is subject to a penalty of up to one year.’
    • ‘We need to remove some of that regulation which is impacting on business.’
    • ‘It would appear that new legislation regarding the payment of accounts has had no real effect on business.’
    • ‘But he is not impressed by the track record of the Scottish parliament on business.’
    • ‘Business representatives heard that demands on business have never been higher.’
    • ‘The Government wants to enhance the capability of polytechs to engage with business and industry.’
    • ‘He did not engage in any business activities outside of his employment duties with the defendant.’
    • ‘He cannot recall if the Trust was ever engaged in any business or ever lent money.’
    • ‘Warlords enjoy a situation of anarchy in which they can threaten the local population and engage in illegal business.’
    • ‘As a market trader I understand business and running the town would require a sense of business.’
    • ‘Over half the stock required repairs and business would be effected for weeks, Mr Nicholls said.’
    • ‘But such extra burdens hardly help business, which now needs to lobby for joined-up tax reform.’
    • ‘Narang's experience in managing business came in handy for his new assignment.’
    • ‘I am going to be away just for one day and it would have been nice to add on some social activity with the business.’
    • ‘He cites the response of business to environmental concerns over the past decade.’
    • ‘The Minister for Sport appears to be driven by business rather than sporting concerns.’
    trade, trading, commerce, buying and selling, dealing, traffic, trafficking, marketing, merchandising, bargaining
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Trade considered in terms of its volume or profitability.
      ‘how's business?’
      • ‘Ahead of the opening of European markets traders were divided over the likely volume of business.’
      • ‘They are competing in terms of business but will join together when it will help to bring about benefits for retail across the board.’
      • ‘The bush telegraph has never made so much money; telecomms deregulation has no effect on volume business.’
      • ‘Getting higher volumes of business at lunchtime is another priority.’
      • ‘In business terms this club would bankrupt with them and O'Riordan at the helm.’
      • ‘If this is the normal volume of business, can this venture be viable?’
      • ‘According to several designers this has been one of the best fashion weeks in terms of business.’
      • ‘Insiders denied the Midland was losing business in the increasingly competitive luxury hotel market.’
      • ‘Although it may make good business in the short term it will ultimately cost in the long term.’
      • ‘The company hopes the deal will lead to new business in the medium term.’
      • ‘The carnage had a huge cost in terms of lost business, but it worked wonders for the bottom line.’
      • ‘In a desperate attempt to boost business, Scott commissions Hayley to create some rather snazzy pamphlets.’
      • ‘It seemed a daft idea and the film did indifferent business at the box office.’
      • ‘Both wore the aura of violent gang life and that meant good box office business.’
      • ‘Can you imagine automatically giving the Best Picture Oscar to the film that did the most business at the box office?’
      • ‘Liberal Democrat Andrew Waller said plans were in hand for York council to push more business to post offices.’
      • ‘It believes there are too many post offices for too little business.’
      • ‘What is particularly striking is the bounce in expectations concerning future business.’
      • ‘My concern is that business is now very slow and I would like to build it back up.’
      • ‘People were late for work, meetings were delayed, funerals were missed and business was affected.’
    2. 2.2A commercial operation or company.
      ‘a catering business’
      • ‘New Labour prefers to give state money to private businesses to run public services.’
      • ‘A city is composed of units too, people and houses and businesses and all the rest.’
      • ‘Several rival operators have put their businesses on the market in the hope of cashing in.’
      • ‘He says it has made inroads into niche markets and scores highly on business banking, wealth management and mortgages.’
      • ‘Transitory relief on business rates bills hide the real cost in future years.’
      • ‘Now ATS employs more than 110 staff, of which about half are engaged in the retail business.’
      • ‘Like any other business the Post Office must move with the times and respond to customer pressures.’
      • ‘From that time he has managed and run his business from Hong Kong where his principal activity is in shipping.’
      • ‘In a surprise move Aberdeen will keep the tarnished Edinburgh brand alive in a bid to retain its investment trust business.’
      • ‘He was in charge of his family business, a mining company with no interest in politics.’
      • ‘The business he took charge of three decades ago was a small family-owned publisher of four local papers.’
      • ‘We would urge anyone seeking a loan to be wary of any business which requires an advance fee to be paid by money transfer to secure a loan.’
      • ‘As far as my dreams for our business are concerned, it's a case of what will be will be.’
      • ‘As far as our business is concerned, he said that the money he owes us will be paid by Christmas.’
      • ‘It is not a satisfactory way of proceeding as far as our business is concerned.’
      • ‘But business owners are more concerned about the time it takes just to keep up to date and comply with the new rules.’
      • ‘With conventional companies receivers attempt to preserve or sell the business as a going concern.’
      • ‘Training people to provide quality services costs, but that should be going on in any business as a matter of course.’
      • ‘A shop owner who does not attend could see his business shut down for days.’
      • ‘As a matter of course, business owners protect themselves against health problems and loss of income.’
      firm, company, concern, enterprise, venture, organization, operation, undertaking, industry, corporation, establishment, house, shop, office, bureau, agency, franchise, practice, partnership, consortium, cooperative, conglomerate, group, combine, syndicate
      View synonyms
  • 3informal in singular An affair or series of events, typically a scandalous or discreditable one.

    • ‘they must be told about this blackmailing business’
    • ‘In a word, I have to invite the reader to come in backward upon the whole business.’
    • ‘She found the whole business of arguing backward and forward about the same detail utterly boring.’
    • ‘You see I'm no lawyer, but I happen to know that the business of court cases is a process.’
    • ‘The other good thing about the business is the advent of the WWE's DVD strength.’
    • ‘The first thing he does is explain that electronics is incidental to the business of computation.’
    • ‘They think we are inured to the whole business and, in any case, suffused with a boredom with the political process.’
    • ‘Older people especially are tempted to ignore the whole business and get on with a microchip-free life.’
    • ‘Of course, the business of extramarital affairs was pretty high on the list.’
    • ‘What happened to the business about his taking the Viscount's passports?’
    • ‘But the whole business has been more rushed, and they have the added pressure of fitting in a filming schedule.’
    • ‘I speak only for myself, but this particular responsible voter soon became disgusted with the whole business.’
    • ‘Very quickly it all began to get out of hand and we came to a group decision that it was time to knock the whole business on the head and take up some new enthusiasm.’
    • ‘Visitors to the Jorvik Centre take the whole business very seriously.’
    • ‘Fifa, however, is showing every sign of being somewhat less than neutral about the whole business.’
    • ‘And soon, the whole business of confession has become polluted with falsity and madness.’
    • ‘Evans will meet SFO detectives early next month in the hope that the whole business can be cleared up quickly.’
    • ‘After just a couple of days, Ashdown notes wearily, the whole business feels as if it has been dragging on for weeks.’
    • ‘Then I can contact the Environmental Health Unit who will consider how to handle the whole business.’
    • ‘Worse still, his acceptance speech demonstrated that he takes the whole business far too seriously.’
    • ‘Well, he could be right, but another scenario can be that many see the whole business as largely irrelevant.’
    affair, matter, thing, issue, case, set of circumstances, circumstance, situation, occasion, experience, event, incident, happening, occurrence, phenomenon, eventuality, episode, interlude, adventure
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1informal A group of related or previously mentioned things.
      • ‘use carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli, and serve the whole business hot’
      • ‘Talk Politics has a good post on His Bobness, Blair and the whole G8 business.’
      • ‘I realised then all over again just how vexed this whole business of Indianness actually is.’
      • ‘She has been very quiet throughout this whole business, she has kept silent in the hope that this would help her get bail.’
      • ‘I love the way he tells a story and doesn't with the whole rhyme business.’
      • ‘What really interests me in this whole business is the question of where this editing behaviour will end.’
      • ‘This whole business about saying hello and saying goodbye is tiresome.’
  • 4theatrical slang Actions other than dialogue performed by actors.

    ‘a piece of business’
    • ‘What these critics are missing is the stage business that occurs during the dialogue.’
    • ‘Moreover, it deliberately made use of the modern in its stage business.’
    • ‘Like Marmite, you either savour this daft stage business or you wish its energy was never let out of the jar.’
    • ‘When you are sending up a recognisable piece of comedy business, based on another film, is permission needed?’
  • 5informal A scolding; harsh verbal criticism.

    • ‘the supervisor really gave him the business’
    • ‘At Rice-Eccles Stadium, he spent as much time as he could on the field, near the sidelines, where Ute fans gave him the business, and he gave it back.’
    • ‘But, the rest of the group was rather unforgiving and gave him "the business" for the entire rest of the trip, even though he had more than compensated for his tardiness by doing much of the digging and pulling of luggage.’
    • ‘Either way Kobe gave him the business.’
    • ‘The irreverent New York Daily News gave him the business, in a full-column editorial.’

Phrases

    mean business
    • Be in earnest.

      ‘the border is sealed by troops who mean business’
      • ‘Eight businesses were based in Michigan, seven in New York, nineteen in Colorado, and fifteen in Montana, showing that salmon mean business across the nation.’
      • ‘Community colleges mean business.’
      • ‘This team means business. We are not there to show off. We want to achieve something together.’
      • ‘Google shifts focus to show it means business.’
      • ‘The 100 British companies that are here today are hard evidence of the fact that Britain really does mean business.’
    in the business of
    • Engaged in or prepared to engage in.

      ‘I am not in the business of making accusations’
      • ‘So much so that he is now engaged in the business of giving a few lessons to those in the Capital ready to explore the world of wines.’
      • ‘As far as I'm concerned we shouldn't be in the business of further feeding what are already pretty plump cats.’
      • ‘We're in the business of consciously and unconsciously changing our memories everyday.’
      • ‘They are not in the business of plundering the past, they are in the business of rescuing large lumps of history from the wrecking ball.’
      • ‘Who knows more about the business of being an entrepreneur than those in the business of farming?’
      • ‘We all are in the business of food production and food preparation for the long term.’
      • ‘We believe that the courts should be in the business of interpreting the law, not making it.’
      • ‘Such words provide comfort to those in the business of hiding money for wealthy clients.’
      • ‘If you're in the business of building software, user dissatisfaction quite simply equates to reduced sales.’
      • ‘They're in the business of managing the media and they get all the information they can.’
    be none of one's business
    • Not be of direct relevance or concern to one.

      ‘their finances are none of your business’
      • ‘what goes on between Gabriel and me is none of your business’
      • ‘Tell your housekeeper that my behaviour is none of her business.’
      • ‘He had chosen to speak about something that is none of his business.’
      • ‘My own belief is that the board's first response should have been that the whole matter was none of its business.’
      • ‘His personal life is none of my business, nor am I interested in it.’
      • ‘He screamed at me that it was none of my business how he spent his money.’
      • ‘People's sexual orientation is none of our business.’
      • ‘I admit the whole situation is interesting, but it is really none of our business.’
      • ‘What I do is none of your business.’
      • ‘I can take care of myself, thank you very much, and technically this is none of your business.’
      • ‘The principle was essentially that if other people were different, then this was none of your business so long as they kept their nose out of yours.’
      • ‘"My real name is none of your damned business," she said.’
    in business
    • 1Operating, especially in commerce.

      ‘they will have to import from overseas to remain in business’
      • ‘He said he would have remained in business if trade had continued to grow at the rate it was before the roadworks.’
      • ‘She fails to ask whether drugs companies would remain in business if they had no patents.’
      • ‘Those who cannot keep their customers happy do not deserve to remain in business.’
      • ‘The fact that he remains in business is testimony to him being broadly right.’
      • ‘It's hard to imagine the service remaining in business as we know it in either case.’
      • ‘He might not be able to save your sodden carpets or your fire-damaged stock, but he will be able to keep you in business.’
      • ‘Unless the consumer sees what he desires, the business owner will not be able to stay in business.’
      • ‘But he is not in business just to manage resource, he is in business to police London in all its entirety.’
      • ‘Should we help to start new businesses, or only those who are already in business?’
      • ‘I don't think you'd ever see me in business again if I failed in this company.’
      1. 1.1informal Able to begin operations.
        • ‘if you'll contact the right people, I think we'll be in business’
        • ‘Instantly on arrival at Balmoor an hour before kick-off there was evidence that this cup tie was in business.’
        • ‘Another 15 minutes of piped music, and now we're in business.’
        • ‘When you buy a PhaseOne Package we will give you a wide format printer, now you're in business!’
        • ‘You've gained entry and accepted your offer - now you're in business and the work really starts.’
        • ‘So you've purchased a digital camcorder, hooked it up to your PC and now you're in business.’
    like nobody's business
    British informal
    • To an extraordinarily high degree or standard.

      • ‘these weeds spread like nobody's business’
      • ‘Brenda Watson, 39, said: ‘They go through here like nobody's business.’’
      • ‘‘On the day itself, it was raining like nobody's business,’ he said.’
      • ‘I bet I could draw jam-pots like nobody's business.’
      • ‘I'm picking up the pace like nobody's business.’
      • ‘The land is chalky too, which makes those grapes bubble like nobody's business.’
      • ‘At the moment we just can't keep up with the demand, so we're expanding like nobody's business.’
      • ‘But he loved that thing like nobody's business.’
      • ‘They're giving stuff away like nobody's business.’
      • ‘It's dense, too, so even though I breeze through most books like nobody's business, I'm not doing that on this one, and that's a good thing, a good feeling.’
      • ‘And the woman can starch a collar like nobody's business.’
    mind one's own business
    • Refrain from prying or interfering.

      • ‘I asked her if he'd come home and she told me to mind my own business’
    have no business
    • Have no right to do something or be somewhere.

      ‘he had no business tampering with social services’
      • ‘I think Trudeau's philosophy of the government having no business in the bedrooms of this nation isn't such a bad idea.’
      • ‘Since these auto parts makers rely so heavily on such a small number of companies to sell to, they have no business but to actively involve in cutting their own throats.’
      • ‘They fail to discourage behaviour which harms others while getting more and more involved in trying to control private behaviour where they have no business to interfere.’
      • ‘The Supreme Court reaffirmed its position that corporations have no business in our elections trying to influence our vote.’
      • ‘I have no business with anything that is in a customer's pocket.’
      • ‘There are certain areas where courts and bureaucrats have no business.’
      • ‘In fact, Congress has specifically said that federal courts have no business in probate issues.’
      • ‘If some people eat meat, animal lovers have no business to object.’
      • ‘There are those who say that religionists have no business in politics.’
      • ‘Children whose parents are still alive should have no business on the streets.’
    business as usual
    • An unchanging state of affairs despite difficulties or disturbances.

      ‘apart from being under new management, it's business as usual in the department’
      • ‘He said after a meeting on Wednesday night that it would be business as usual despite the ongoing situation.’
      • ‘So the official line was that it will be business as usual despite the warning.’
      • ‘At Manchester Airport it was business as usual despite a four-day walkout by security staff.’
      • ‘But it is not quite business as usual, despite the best efforts to pretend that it is.’
      • ‘She says it will be business as usual once all the regulation safety checks have been done.’
      • ‘We can give in to inertia, even just the inertia of routine and business as usual.’
      • ‘Regardless of the outcome, it is difficult to envisage the resumption of business as usual afterwards.’
      • ‘According to management, the club is undergoing renovations but is open for business as usual.’
      • ‘The fact is that Montserrat now faces circumstances that cannot be treated like business as usual.’
      • ‘Does this suggest that the press is kind of inching back towards business as usual?’
    send someone about their business
    dated
    • Tell someone to go away.

Origin

Old English bisignis ‘anxiety’ (see busy, -ness); the sense ‘state of being busy’ was used from Middle English down to the 18th century, but is now differentiated as busyness. The use ‘appointed task’ dates from late Middle English, and from it all the other current senses have developed.