business busi‧ness [ˈbɪzns] noun COMMERCE
1. [uncountable] the production, buying, and selling of goods or services for profit:

• Students on the course learn about all aspects of business.

• We are in business to create profit.

• The company says it will never do business with the bank again.

• Mr Guerlain learned the perfume business in Grasse.

— see also repeat business
2. go into business to start working in the production, buying, and selling of goods or services:

• She wanted to quit working as a hostess and go into business on her own.

3. go out of business to stop operating as a company, usually because of bankruptcy:

• 1,800 furniture store companies went out of business last year.

4. business is business used to say that profit is the most important thing:

• With these guys, business is business, and charity and public works are not part of it.

5. [uncountable] the work that you do as part of your job:

• Adam's in Argentina on business.

• Companies are looking hard at the need for many business trips.

6. [countable] a person or organization that produces and sells goods or services:

• Do you want to manage your own business?

• She runs a business finding and restoring old cars.

• He works for a catering business.

ˌbig ˈbusiness [uncountable] COMMERCE
1. very large companies considered as a powerful group with a lot of influence:

• Reformers are trying to cut the links between government and big business.

2. a product or activity where a lot of money is involved:

• Pet food is big business.

• Trafficking in stolen cars has become big business across eastern Europe.

ˌcore ˈbusiness [countable] COMMERCE
the business that makes the most money for a company and that is considered to be its most important and central one:

• The car maker is to sell off its $1billion technology arm to concentrate resources on its core business.

ˌfamily ˈbusiness [countable] COMMERCE
a business that is owned and managed by members of the same family:

• The firm began as asmall family business.

ˌone-man ˈbusiness [countable] COMMERCE
a business consisting of only one person:

• He runs a one-man business as a builder.

ˈorganizing ˌbusiness also organising business [uncountable] COMMERCE
companies involved in making or selling things that help people organize their lives, such as personal computers, videos etc:

• The growing organizing business is also taking advantage of a change in retailing habits.

ˈshow ˌbusiness [uncountable] COMMERCE
the entertainment industry, for example television, films, and popular music:

• Few industries rely on show business as heavily as magazines do.

ˌsmall ˈbusiness COMMERCE
[countable] a business with not many employees, or these businesses considered as a whole:

• They run a small business in Dorset.

• computers for the home, education and small business markets

— see also SME
7. [uncountable] COMMERCE the amount of work a company has or is doing:

• Soon he had so much business he had to subcontract.

• The company isn't doing much business in Japan.

• The economy is growing, jobs are plentiful and business is good.

• The promotional fares are designed to drum up business (= increase it ) during the slower fall period.

reˌpeat ˈbusiness [uncountable] COMMERCE
if a company gets repeat business, customers return to it to buy more of its products or services:

• The firm continued to grow, owing mainly to a high level of repeat business.

8. [uncountable] work that must be done in a particular job or period of time:

• We discussed this week's business.

• the routine business of government

9. get down to business to start dealing with an important subject:

• He offers juice or tea before getting down to business.

10. business as usual used to tell you that a shop or business is working normally when you might think it was working in a different way, or was closed:

• The retailer says it intends to do business as usual during its reorganization.

• The market is shut today for Bastille day, but tomorrow it is business as usual.

* * *

business UK US /ˈbɪznɪs/ noun 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 business

a 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 — Cf. business as usual
business is business — Cf. business is business
sb you can do business with — Cf. sb you can do business with
See also ANY OTHER BUSINESS(Cf. ↑any other business), BIG BUSINESS(Cf. ↑big business), E-BUSINESS(Cf. ↑e-business), FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS(Cf. ↑first order of business), ORGANIZING BUSINESS(Cf. ↑organizing business), REPEAT BUSINESS(Cf. ↑repeat business), SHOW BUSINESS(Cf. ↑show business), SMALL BUSINESS(Cf. ↑small business)
See Note COMPANY(Cf. ↑company)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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