business Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “business” in the English Dictionary

"business" in British English

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businessnoun

uk   us   /ˈbɪz.nɪs/
  • business noun (SELLING)

A1 [U] the ​activity of ​buying and ​sellinggoods and ​services: My brother's in business. He's in thefrozenfood business. Our ​firm does a lot of business withoverseascustomers. 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 ​smallfirms out of business (= they will ​stopoperating). She set up in business (= ​started her own ​company) as a ​managementconsultant.

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  • business noun (COMPANY)

A2 [C] a ​particularcompany that ​buys and ​sellsgoods and ​services: The two ​brothersestablished/set up/​started up a ​clothesretailing 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 ​earnmoney: I'm in Baltimore on business. a business ​appointment [U] the ​amount of ​work done or the ​number of ​goods or ​servicessold 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 ​youropinion about: Arranging a ​tripabroad is atime-consuming business. These ​killings are ahorrible business. I make it my business (= I ​feel it is my ​particularduty) to ​check the ​monthlyaccounts. We have some unfinished business to ​discuss (= we still have something ​important to ​discuss).

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  • business noun (THINGS YOU DO)

[U] the things that you do or the ​matters that ​relate only to you: I ​started on the business offilling out the ​form. What she does with her ​life is her business.

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(Definition of business from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"business" in American English

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businessnoun

 us   /ˈbɪz·nəs, -nəz/
  • business noun (BUYING AND SELLING)

[C/U] the ​activity of ​buying and ​sellinggoods and ​services, or a ​particularcompany that does this, or ​work in ​generalrather than ​pleasure: [C] He ​runs a ​drycleaning business. [U] I’m in Baltimore on business. [U] Our ​firm does a lot of business with ​overseascustomers. [U] She’s going into business (= ​starting a business) as a ​managementconsultant. [U] How’s business? [C/U] Business is also the ​degree of ​success of a ​company or of ​yourwork: [U] Business has been good.
  • business noun (A MATTER)

[U] a ​matter or a ​situation: I have some business to ​settle with Mr. Redford. Preparing ​yourtaxes can be a ​tricky business.
  • business noun (THINGS YOU DO)

[U] the things that you do or the ​matters that ​relate only to you: What she does after ​work is her own business. When I ​asked him what he was doing, he told me it was none of my business (= it did not ​involve me).
(Definition of business from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"business" in Business English

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businessnoun

uk   us   /ˈbɪznɪs/ COMMERCE
[U] the ​activity of ​buying and ​sellinggoods and ​services: in business She is an ​academic, but all her brothers ​work in business.be in business Currently, fewer ​firms are in business in the ​area than ever before.go into/set up in business She set up in business as a ​managementconsultant.be/be put/go out of business This new ​tax will put a lot of ​smallfirms out of business.do business with sb/sth Our ​firm does a lot of business with ​overseascustomers.open for business/be open for business The new ​restaurantopens for business this Saturday, 12th June.a business deal/transaction/investment He made a $550,000 business ​deal with Beijing Machinery Import and Export.business activities/practices Many of us want to ​adopt more ​environmentallyfriendly business ​practices.a business venture/proposition/idea We can ​help you put your business ​idea into ​practice. The scare over ​productsafety in China has ​created a business ​opportunity for ​testinglaboratories. a business ​consultant/​executive a business ​contact/​partner the business ​world/​sector She ​stood against a powerful ​coalition of ​political and business ​interests.
[U] work that you do to ​earnmoney: be in the ... business He's in the ​frozenfood business.the music/insurance/tourism business This is a glossary of ​terms used in the ​insurance business.on business Are you in Baltimore on business? a business ​appointment/​meeting/​trip a business ​call/​letter
[C] a ​company or ​organization that ​buys and ​sellsgoods or ​services: own/run/manage a business She ​owns several businesses in the city.set up/start a business He hopes to ​start a bicycle ​repair business. a telecoms/​design/hairdressing businessa family/local business We are a family business, and everyone helps out in the ​shop. By the age of 24 I was ​running my own business.grow/develop/build the business We all know we could ​perform better, ​grow the business, ​plan for the future - if we had more ​time. Most business ​owners would like to ​think they know what their ​customers want.
[U] the ​amount of ​work done or the ​number of ​goods or ​servicessold by a ​company or ​organization: How is business at the moment?bring in/attract/win business The ​ads in the ​localpressbrought in a lot of business. He gives ​tips on ​finding new business, ​building a ​relationship with the ​customer, and ​closingdeals.business is good/brisk/booming After last year's ​long dry summer, business is ​booming for irrigation ​companies. business is ​bad/​slack/​quiet
[U] the fact that someone ​buysgoods or ​services from a particular ​store, ​company, etc.: lose/need/want sb's business If you do not delight the ​customer, you ​risklosing their business.
business as usual used to say that a business is ​operating, ​people are ​working, etc. in the way that they ​normally do: It will be business as usual for the ​officeeven while the ​buildingwork is going on.
business is business used to say that in a particular ​situation the most important thing is to do what is ​right for a business: It would have been nice to ​sell the ​company to friends, but business is business.
sb you can do business with someone who you ​feel you can ​work well with, because you understand each other: Eventually they ​found a ​consultant they ​felt they could do business with.
(Definition of business from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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