business

noun, often attributive
busi·​ness | \ ˈbiz-nəs How to pronounce business (audio) , -nəz, Southern also ˈbid- How to pronounce business (audio) \

Definition of business

1a : a usually commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood : trade, line in the restaurant business
b : a commercial or sometimes an industrial enterprise also : such enterprises the business district
c : dealings or transactions especially of an economic nature : patronage took their business elsewhere
2a : role, function how the human mind went about its business of learning— H. A. Overstreet
b : an immediate task or objective : mission what is your business here
c : a particular field of endeavor the best in the business
3 : affair, matter the whole business got out of hand business as usual
4a : personal concern none of your business
b : right you have no business speaking to me that way
5a : serious activity requiring time and effort and usually the avoidance of distractions got down to business
b : maximum effort
7 : movement or action (such as lighting a cigarette) by an actor intended especially to establish atmosphere, reveal character, or explain a situation

called also stage business

8a : a damaging assault
9 : a bowel movement used especially of pets
10 archaic : purposeful activity : busyness

Synonyms for business

Synonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for business

business, commerce, trade, industry, traffic mean activity concerned with the supplying and distribution of commodities. business may be an inclusive term but specifically designates the activities of those engaged in the purchase or sale of commodities or in related financial transactions. commerce and trade imply the exchange and transportation of commodities. industry applies to the producing of commodities, especially by manufacturing or processing, usually on a large scale. traffic applies to the operation and functioning of public carriers of goods and persons.

synonyms see in addition work

Examples of business in a Sentence

Forever Odd is a direct sequel to 2003's Odd Thomas, the book in which we were introduced to the title character, a young man who can see the dead. They can't talk to him, but they can nudge him in the direction they want, which is usually to help them tidy up some unfinished business from when they were alive. — Charles De Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 2006 The Sun may never set, but air temperatures can plummet to -4 degrees Fahrenheit, and blinding snowstorms appear without warning. Sunbathing here can be risky business: even huddled in our parkas and boots, the members of our expedition live under the constant threat of frostbite and hypothermia. — Terrie M. Williams, Natural History, October 2003 Such high attrition means that most of the dot-coms here today will be gone tomorrow. The business environment is already harsh, and competition is growing. — Ann Thayer, Chemical & Engineering News, 5 June 2000 Lancaster and Columbia have plenty of history apart from the Civil War, of course. For example, Lancaster was home to F. W. Woolworth's first successful 5&10 and Milton S. Hershey's first successful candy business. Lancaster New Era, 2 July 1996 The store has lost a significant amount of business since the factory closed. She works in the publishing business. David has decided to go into business with his brother. Their publishing company is the best in the business. I have to go to New York City on business next week. They advertised to increase business. He has the skills necessary to run a business. The town is trying to attract new businesses. Do we have any other business we need to discuss? No, I didn't ask him what he wanted the car for. That's his business. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Former Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Kate White shares her secrets to becoming a successful business woman in this New York Times bestseller. Ysolt Usigan, Woman's Day, 9 May 2022 And Trivago is confident enough in the business climate to start ramping up spending on TV ads again. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 9 May 2022 Where many early stage digital therapeutics firms have struggled with business models, Sidekick co-founder and CEO Tryggvi Thorgeirsson said the company has benefitted from hitching its balance sheet to pharma deals. Mohana Ravindranath, STAT, 9 May 2022 Subscribe to our free Daily Money newsletter for personal finance tips and business news every Monday through Friday morning. Randy Essex, USA TODAY, 9 May 2022 Antares founded the furniture design studio Sun at Six in 2017, following in the footsteps of his mother, Maria Yee, who started her eponymous furniture business in China in the 1980s. Sean Santiago, ELLE Decor, 9 May 2022 Boddy is allowed on school property for official board business, district spokesperson Betsy Fuller confirmed to The Enquirer Monday morning. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 9 May 2022 In Asia, markets closed sharply lower as the weight of China’s zero-tolerance covid restrictions continued to weigh on the region’s business activity. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 Stay connected to professionals, industry leaders and the business community through online and in-person networking, workshops, conferences and more, in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Cindy Kent, Sun Sentinel, 9 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'business.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of business

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 10

History and Etymology for business

Middle English bisynesse, from bisy busy + -nesse -ness

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Time Traveler for business

Time Traveler

The first known use of business was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near business

busine

business

business administration

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Statistics for business

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Business.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/business. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for business

business

noun
busi·​ness | \ ˈbiz-nəs How to pronounce business (audio) \

Kids Definition of business

1 : the activity of making, buying, and selling goods or services We're open for business.
2 : a commercial enterprise She's starting a new business.
3 : the normal activity of a person or group Learning is the business of a student.
4 : personal concerns It's none of your business.
5 : matter entry 1 sense 1 Cleaning up the mess was an unpleasant business.

More from Merriam-Webster on business

Nglish: Translation of business for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of business for Arabic Speakers

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