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


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.


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

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