business Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
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Meaning of “business” in the English Dictionary

"business" in British English

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businessnoun

uk   /ˈbɪz.nɪs/ us   /ˈbɪz.nɪs/
  • 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.

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  • 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).

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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 of filling 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 selling goods and services, or a particular company that does this, or work in general rather than pleasure: [C] He runs a dry cleaning business. [U] I’m in Baltimore on business. [U] Our firm does a lot of business with overseas customers. [U] She’s going into business (= starting a business) as a management consultant. [U] How’s business?
[C/U] Business is also the degree of success of a company or of your work: [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 your taxes 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   /ˈbɪznɪs/ us   COMMERCE
[U] the activity of buying and selling goods 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 management consultant.be/be put/go out of business This new tax will put a lot of small firms out of business.do business with sb/sth Our firm does a lot of business with overseas customers.open for business/be open for business The new restaurant opens 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 environmentally friendly business practices.a business venture/proposition/idea We can help you put your business idea into practice. The scare over product safety in China has created a business opportunity for testing laboratories. 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 earn money: be in the ... business He's in the frozen food 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 sells goods 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 services sold by a company or organization: How is business at the moment?bring in/attract/win business The ads in the local press brought in a lot of business. He gives tips on finding new business, building a relationship with the customer, and closing deals.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 buys goods or services from a particular store, company, etc.: lose/need/want sb's business If you do not delight the customer, you risk losing 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 office even while the building work 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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