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business - definition and synonyms

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noun     business pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [uncountable] the work of buying or selling products or services for money

    representatives from business and politics

    do business with someone:

    I found them very easy to do business with.

    go into business:

    It was a mistake to go into business with my brother.

    1. a.
      used for talking about how well a company or industry is doing

      Business was booming (=doing very well).

      Cheap imports are damaging our business.

      We’re hoping that business will improve this year.

      A little controversy will be good for business.

    2. b.
      used for talking about how many customers or contracts a company or industry has

      a potential source of new business

      Companies risk losing business if they don’t develop some new products.

      They’re trying to attract business by cutting prices.

    3. c.
      a particular area of business

      What business are you in?

      You don’t go into this business for the money.

      the music/fashion/advertising etc. business:

      I have a few contacts in the music business.

      Ashley’s in the retail business.

    4. d.
      used for talking about business compared to things that you do when you are not working

      Are you here for business or pleasure?

      You can get reimbursed for all your business expenses.

      a business lunch/trip/meeting

      on business:

      Jonathan was away on business.

    5. e.
      [only before noun] connected with business, or with people who work in business

      our latest business venture

      the business community (=all the people who work in business)

      a business associate/partner

      the business section of the Sunday paper

    See also big business
  2. 2
    [countable] an organization that buys or sells products or services for money. This word often refers to a small organization that is owned and run by one person or a few people, while company can also refer to large organizations

    a small family business

    Matthew’s little store has turned into a thriving business.

    Many small businesses fold (=fail) in their first year.

    run a business:

    Sheryl’s parents run a small clothing business.

    start your own business:

    After leaving school, Bob started his own computer business.

  3. 3
    [singular/uncountable] something that you have to deal with

    Is there any other business to discuss?

    unfinished business (=things that need to be dealt with):

    We’ve still got some unfinished business to settle.

    the business of (doing) something:

    Nancy had left the business of taking care of the dog to her brother.

  4. 4
    [uncountable] something that affects or involves a particular person and no one else

    It’s my business who I go out with.

    I’ll loan money to whoever I want to – it’s not your business.

  5. 5
    [singular] something that has happened, especially something that has caused problems and has been continuing for a long time

    This business about who’s going to do the housework has to be resolved.

    I’m fed up with the whole business.

    Ever since that business with her boyfriend, Becky’s been really depressed.

  6. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    do your business informal to urinate or excrete

    A cat is doing its business in a litter box.

    Submitted by Caleb Judy from United States on 22/08/2015
  7. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    be none of someone's business if something is none of your business, you should not ask about or get involved in something that is private

    "How old are you?" "None of your business."

    Submitted by Caleb Judy from United States on 27/12/2016
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