an occupation, profession, or trade: His business is poultry farming.
2. the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.
3. a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern.
4. volume of trade; patronage: Most of the store's business comes from local families.
5. 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.
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of, noting, or pertaining to business, its organization, or its procedures.
13. containing, suitable for, or welcoming business or commerce: New York is a good business town.
14. business is business, profit has precedence over personal considerations: He is reluctant to fire his friend, but business is business.
15. do one's business, (usually of an animal or child) to defecate or urinate: housebreaking a puppy to do his business outdoors.
16. get down to business, to apply oneself to serious matters; concentrate on work: They finally got down to business and signed the contract.
17. give someone the business, Informal.
to make difficulties for someone; treat harshly: Instead of a straight answer they give him the business with a needless run-around.
b. to scold severely; give a tongue-lashing to: The passengers will give the bus driver the business if he keeps driving so recklessly.
18. have no business, to have no right: You have no business coming into this house.
Origin: before 950; Middle English; Old English bisignes. See busy, -ness
Related forms an·ti·busi·ness, adjective
1. calling, vocation, employment. See occupation. 2. commerce, trade, traffic. 3. company, firm.
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
a trade or profession
an industrial, commercial, or professional operation; purchase and sale of goods and services: the 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 activity: business is poor today
commercial policy or procedure: overcharging 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 to: the business of the meeting
an affair; matter: a queer business ; I'm tired of the whole business
serious work or activity: get down to business
a complicated affair; rigmarole
informal a vaguely defined collection or area: jets, fast cars, and all that business
theatre Also called: stage business 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 )