American English

Definition of business noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1[uncountable] the activity of making, buying, selling, or supplying goods or services for money synonym commerce synonym trade business contacts/affairs/interests a business investment It's been a pleasure to do business with you. She has started a business as a hairdresser. When he left school, he went into business with his brother. She works in the computer business. They were both in the same line of business. see also agribusiness, big business, show business
  2. work
  3. 2[uncountable] work that is part of your job Is the trip to Rome business or pleasure? a business lunch He's away on business.
  4. 3[uncountable] the amount of work done by a company, etc.; the rate or quality of this work Business was bad. Business was booming. Her job was to drum up (= increase) business. How's business? If we close down for repairs, we'll lose business.
  5. company
  6. 4[countable] a commercial organization such as a company, store, or factory to have/start/run a business business premises She works in the family business. They have a small catering business. He wanted to expand the export side of the business.
  7. responsibility
  8. 5[uncountable] something that concerns a particular person or organization It is the business of the police to protect the community. I will make it my business to find out who is responsible. My private life is none of your business (= does not concern you). It's no business of yours who I invite to the party.
  9. important matters
  10. 6[uncountable] important matters that need to be dealt with or discussed the main business of the meeting He has some unfinished business to deal with.
  11. event
  12. 7[singular] (usually with an adjective) a matter, an event, or a situation That plane crash was a terrible business. I found the whole business very depressing. The business of the missing tickets hasn't been sorted out.
  13. being a customer
  14. 8[uncountable] the fact of a person or people buying goods or services at a store or business We're grateful for your business.
  15. Idioms
    any other business
    jump to other results
    the things that are discussed at the end of an official meeting that do not appear on the agenda I think we've finished item four. Now is there any other business?
    be in business (informal)
    jump to other results
    to have everything that you need in order to be able to start something immediately All we need is a car and we'll be in business.
    business as usual
    jump to other results
    a way of saying that things will continue as normal despite a difficult situation
    business is business
    jump to other results
    a way of saying that financial and commercial matters are the important things to consider and you should not be influenced by friendship, etc.
    do a land-office business
    jump to other results
    to do a lot of business and make a lot of money, usually in a short time Sellers of Yankees baseball paraphernalia did a land-office business when the team won the World Series.
    get down to business
    jump to other results
    to start dealing with the matter that needs to be dealt with , or doing the work that needs to be done Let's get down to business right away—we'll stop for coffee later.
    go about your business
    jump to other results
    to do the things that you normally do streets filled with people going about their daily business
    have no business doing something, have no business to do something
    jump to other results
    to have no right to do something You have no business being here.
    mean business (informal)
    jump to other results
    to be serious in your intentions He has the look of a man who means business.
    mind your own business (informal)
    jump to other results
    to think about your own affairs and not ask questions about or try to get involved in other people's lives “What are you reading?” “Mind your own business!” I was just sitting there, minding my own business, when a man started shouting at me.
    not be in the business of doing something
    jump to other results
    not intending to do something (which it would be surprising for you to do) I'm not in the business of getting other people to do my work for me.
    out of business
    jump to other results
    having stopped operating as a business because there is no more money or work available The new regulations will put many small businesses out of business. Some travel companies will probably go out of business this summer.
Topic CollocationsBusinessrunning a business buy/acquire/own/sell a company/firm/franchise set up/establish/start/start up/launch a business/company run/operate a business/company/franchise head/run a firm/department/team make/secure/win/lose/block a deal expand/grow/build the business boost/increase investment/spending/sales/turnover/earnings/exports/trade increase/expand production/output/sales boost/maximize production/productivity/efficiency/income/revenue/profit/profitability achieve/maintain/sustain growth/profitability cut/reduce/bring down/lower/slash costs/prices announce/impose/make cuts/cutbackssales and marketing break into/enter/capture/dominate a market capture/gain/grab/take/win/boost/lose market share identify/find/build/create a market for something start/launch an advertising/a marketing campaign develop/launch/promote a product/Web site estimate/assess/create/generate demand for your product attract/get/retain/keep/help customers/clients drive/generate/boost/increase demand/sales beat/keep ahead of/out-think/outperform/ (informal) stymie the competition meet/reach/exceed/miss sales targetsfinance draw up/set/present/propose/agree on/approve a budget keep to/balance/cut/reduce/slash the budget be/come in below/under/over/within budget generate income/revenue/profit(s)/funds/business fund/finance a campaign/a venture/an expansion/spending/a deficit provide/raise/allocate capital/funds attract/encourage investment/investors recover/recoup costs/losses/an investment/an outlay get/obtain/offer somebody/grant somebody credit/a loan apply for/raise/secure/arrange/provide financingfailure lose business/trade/customers/sales/revenue accumulate/accrue/incur/run up debts suffer/sustain enormous/heavy/serious losses face cuts/a deficit/bankruptcy/a shortfall declare/file for/enter/avoid/escape bankruptcy liquidate a company/a business/assets survive/weather a recession/downturn propose/seek/block/oppose a merger launch/make/accept/contest/defeat a takeover bid
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: business