Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “business”

See all translations

business

noun uk   /ˈbɪz.nɪs/ us  

business noun (SELLING)

A1 [U] the activity of buying and selling goods and services: My brother's in business. He's in the frozen food business. Our firm does a lot of business with overseas customers. Eventually they found a consultant they felt they could do business with (= with whom they could work well). Currently, there are fewer firms in business (= operating) in the area than ever before. This new tax will put a lot of small firms out of business (= they will stop operating). She set up in business (= started her own company) as a management consultant.
More examples

business noun (COMPANY)

A2 [C] a particular company that buys and sells goods and services: The two brothers established/set up/started up a clothes retailing business. She runs her own printing business. They put a lot of money into the family business.

business noun (WORK)

B1 [U] work that you do to earn money: I'm in Baltimore on business. a business appointment [U] the amount of work done or the number of goods or services sold by a company or organization: Business is good/brisk/booming/flourishing (= I'm selling a lot). Business is bad/slack/quiet (= I'm not selling much). How is business (= are you selling much) at the moment?

business noun (MATTER)

[S or U] a situation or activity, often one that you are giving your opinion about: Arranging a trip abroad is a time-consuming business. These killings are a horrible business. I make it my business (= I feel it is my particular duty) to check the monthly accounts. We have some unfinished business to discuss (= we still have something important to discuss).
More examples

business noun (THINGS YOU DO)

[U] the things that you do or the matters that relate only to you: I started on the business of filling out the form. What she does with her life is her business.
More examples
(Definition of business from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of business?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “business” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

work out

to exercise in order to improve the strength or appearance of your body

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

bio-inspiration noun

April 13, 2015
the adoption of patterns and structures found in nature for the purposes of engineering, manufacturing, science, etc. The MIT researchers actually aren’t the only robotics team to turn to cheetahs for bio-inspiration.

Read More