Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The occupation, work, or trade in which a person is engaged: the wholesale food business.
  • n. A specific occupation or pursuit: the best designer in the business.
  • n. Commercial, industrial, or professional dealings: new systems now being used in business.
  • n. A commercial enterprise or establishment: bought his uncle's business.
  • n. Volume or amount of commercial trade: Business had fallen off.
  • n. Commercial dealings; patronage: took her business to a trustworthy salesperson.
  • n. One's rightful or proper concern or interest: "The business of America is business” ( Calvin Coolidge).
  • n. Something involving one personally: It's none of my business.
  • n. Serious work or endeavor: got right down to business.
  • n. An affair or matter: "We will proceed no further in this business” ( Shakespeare).
  • n. An incidental action performed by an actor on the stage to fill a pause between lines or to provide interesting detail.
  • n. Informal Verbal abuse; scolding: gave me the business for being late.
  • n. Obsolete The condition of being busy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A specific commercial enterprise or establishment.
  • n. A person's occupation, work, or trade.
  • n. Commercial, industrial, or professional activity.
  • n. The volume or amount of commercial trade.
  • n. One's dealings; patronage.
  • n. Private commercial interests taken collectively.
  • n. The management of commercial enterprises, or the study of such management.
  • n. A particular situation or activity.
  • n. An objective or a matter needing to be dealt with.
  • n. Something involving one personally.
  • n. Matters that come before a body for deliberation or action.
  • n. Business class, the class of seating provided by airlines between first class and coach.
  • n. Action carried out with a prop or piece of clothing, usually away from the focus of the scene.
  • n. The collective noun for a group of ferrets.
  • n. Something very good; top quality. (possibly from "the bee's knees")
  • n. Excrement, particularly that of a non-human animal.
  • adj. Of, to, pertaining to or utilized for purposes of conducting trade, commerce, governance, advocacy or other professional purposes.
  • adj. Professional, businesslike, having concern for good business practice.
  • adj. Supporting business, conducive to the conduct of business.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which busies one, or that which engages the time, attention, or labor of any one, as his principal concern or interest, whether for a longer or shorter time; constant employment; regular occupation.
  • n. Any particular occupation or employment engaged in for livelihood or gain, as agriculture, trade, art, or a profession.
  • n. Financial dealings; buying and selling; traffic in general; mercantile transactions.
  • n. That which one has to do or should do; special service, duty, or mission.
  • n. Affair; concern; matter; -- used in an indefinite sense, and modified by the connected words.
  • n. The position, distribution, and order of persons and properties on the stage of a theater, as determined by the stage manager in rehearsal.
  • n. Care; anxiety; diligence.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being busy or actively employed; diligence; pains.
  • n. Care; anxiety; solicitude; worry.
  • n. A matter or affair that engages a person's attention or requires his care; an affair receiving or requiring attention; specifically, that which busies or occupies one's time, attention, and labor as his chief concern; that which one does for a livelihood; occupation; employment: as, his business was that of a merchant; to carry on the business of agriculture.
  • n. Specifically Mercantile pursuits collectively; employments requiring knowledge of accounts and financial methods; the occupation of conducting trade or monetary transactions of any kind.
  • n. That which is undertaken as a duty or of chief importance, or is set up as a principal purpose or aim.
  • n. Concern; right of action or interposition: as, what business has a man with the disputes of others?
  • n. Affair; point; matter.
  • n. Theat., such preconcerted movements and actions on the stage as going up, crossing over, taking a chair, poking a fire, toying with anything, etc., designed to fill up the action of the play or character, and heighten its effect.
  • n. To ease one's self at stool.
  • Relating to, connected with, or engaged in business, traffic, trade, etc.: as, business habits; business hours; business men.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an immediate objective
  • n. a rightful concern or responsibility
  • n. the volume of commercial activity
  • n. the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money
  • n. the activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects
  • n. business concerns collectively
  • n. incidental activity performed by an actor for dramatic effect
  • n. customers collectively
  • n. a commercial or industrial enterprise and the people who constitute it

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English businesse, from bisi, busy; see busy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English busines, bisynes, from Old English bisiġnes ("business, busyness"), equivalent to busy +‎ -ness. Compare also busyness.

Examples

  • Follow the latest business news, comment and analysis on Twitter jilltreanor: Quite astonishing that the banks are not compelled to provide details of their own lending commitments under Project Merlin #business about 13 hours, 46 minutes ago jilltreanor: There is nothing in Project Merlin that appears to "force" banks to lend.

    Letters: Ideas, patents and the yellow digger

  • He started in again about business, without explaining exactly _what _business he was in.

    The Body Ricardo

  • I understand that companies that have losing business models often find it more profitable to invest outside of their business**, but GM seems to have found the only investment on the planet worse than their own stock.

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » What the Hell Where They Thinking?

  • The ­secrets of business, he said, were to be found in ­history, literature and the classic ruminations on life and existence, not in the half-baked ramblings of ­business academics, consultants and “gurus.”

    Bogus Theories, Bad for Business

  • Virgil Thomson wrote crushingly of "Porgy and Bess" that "it is clear, by now, that Gershwin hasn't learned the business of being a serious composer, which one has ­always gathered to be the ­business he wanted to learn," though Thomson spoke more kindly of him off the record.

    Rhapsody Imbued

  • While it is true that existing solutions are probably sufficient for the casual user (although we are still faster, more reliable and have bluetooth support) – when you need to use a mobile business card for * business*, you cannot, must not and will not use a solution that is unreliable across platforms, gimmicky or iPhone-only.

    BeamME Pro Update Hits the App Store

  • QUOTATION: We believe that there is one economic lesson which our twentieth century experience has demonstrated conclusively—that America can no more survive and grow without big business than it can survive and grow without small business…. the two are interdependent.

    Benjamin Franklin Fairless (1890-1962)

  • _When to quit business = When they are to quit business_, or _When they ought to quit business_.

    Higher Lessons in English A work on english grammar and composition

  • _ (Reports, unfinished business, and new business_.) _C_: Is there one fit to join our Wigwam?

    The Minister and the Boy A Handbook for Churchmen Engaged in Boys' Work

  • For men’s eyes are upon the business, and not upon the persons; or if upon the persons, it is for the business’ sake, as fittest, and not for flags and pedigree.

    XIV. Of Nobility

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I don't mind being a ferret. It could be worse.

    August 21, 2008

  • Wordnet: "(n): (plural) any group of human beings (men or women or children) collectively"

    So ... we're all ferrets?

    August 21, 2008

  • What does one ferret say to another who's crashed his party?

    I don't get all up in *your* business!

    November 16, 2007

  • A group of ferrets

    November 16, 2007