business Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a commercial or industrial enterprise and the people who constitute it
    business organisation; business concern; business organization; concern.
    • he bought his brother's business
    • a small mom-and-pop business
    • a racially integrated business concern
  2. noun the activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects
    commercial enterprise; business enterprise.
    • computers are now widely used in business
  3. noun the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money
    job; line; line of work; occupation.
    • he's not in my line of business
  4. noun a rightful concern or responsibility
    • it's none of your business
    • mind your own business
  5. noun an immediate objective
    • gossip was the main business of the evening
  6. noun the volume of commercial activity
    • business is good today
    • show me where the business was today
  7. noun business concerns collectively
    business sector.
    • Government and business could not agree
  8. noun customers collectively
    patronage; clientele.
    • they have an upper class clientele
  9. noun incidental activity performed by an actor for dramatic effect
    stage business; byplay.
    • his business with the cane was hilarious


Busi"ness noun
From Busy.
plural Businesses
  1. 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; as, the business of life; business before pleasure.
    Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? Luke ii. 49.
  2. Any particular occupation or employment engaged in for livelihood or gain, as agriculture, trade, art, or a profession. "The business of instruction." Prescott.
  3. Financial dealings; buying and selling; traffic in general; mercantile transactions.
    It seldom happens that men of a studious turn acquire any degree of reputation for their knowledge of business. Bp. Popteus.
  4. That which one has to do or should do; special service, duty, or mission.
    The daughter of the King of France, On serious business, craving quick despatch, Importunes personal conference. Shak.
    What business has the tortoise among the clouds? L'Estrange.
  5. Affair; concern; matter; -- used in an indefinite sense, and modified by the connected words.
    It was a gentle business, and becoming The action of good women. Shak.
    Bestow Your needful counsel to our business. Shak.
  6. (Drama) The position, distribution, and order of persons and properties on the stage of a theater, as determined by the stage manager in rehearsal.
  7. Care; anxiety; diligence. Obs. Chaucer. Syn. -- Affairs; concern; transaction; matter; engagement; employment; calling; occupation; trade; profession; vocation; office; duty.

Webster 1913