noun, busi·ness often attributive \ˈbiz-nəs, -nəz, Southern also ˈbid-\

: the activity of making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money

: work that is part of a job

: the amount of activity that is done by a store, company, factory, etc.

Full Definition of BUSINESS

archaic :  purposeful activity :  busyness
a :  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>
a :  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>
:  affair, matter <the whole business got out of hand> <business as usual>
:  movement or action (as lighting a cigarette) by an actor intended especially to establish atmosphere, reveal character, or explain a situation —called also stage business
a :  personal concern <none of your business>
b :  right <you have no business speaking to me that way>
a :  serious activity requiring time and effort and usually the avoidance of distractions <got down to business>
b :  maximum effort
a :  a damaging assault
b :  rebuke, tongue-lashing
c :  double cross
:  a bowel movement —used especially of pets

Examples of BUSINESS

  1. 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

Origin of BUSINESS

Middle English bisynesse, from bisy busy + -nesse -ness
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of 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

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite
BUSINESS Defined for Kids


noun busi·ness \ˈbiz-nəs\

Definition of BUSINESS for Kids

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