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Definition of BUSINESS

noun, often attributive

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Log Inbusi·​ness | ˈbiz-nəsHow to pronounce business (audio), -nəz, Southern also ˈbid-How to pronounce business (audio)

1a : a usually commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood : trade, line in the restaurant business

b : a commercial or sometimes an industrial enterprise also : such enterprises the business district

c : dealings or transactions especially of an economic nature : patronage took their business elsewhere

2a : role, function how the human mind went about its business of learning— H. A. Overstreet

b : an immediate task or objective : mission what is your business here

c : a particular field of endeavor the best in the business

3 : affair, matter the whole business got out of hand business as usual

4a : personal concern none of your business

b : right you have no business speaking to me that way

5a : serious activity requiring time and effort and usually the avoidance of distractions got down to business

b : maximum effort

6 : creation, concoction

7:movement or action (such as lighting a cigarette) by an actor intended especially to establishatmosphere, reveal character, or explain a situation

— called also stage business

9 : a bowel movement —used especially of pets

10 archaic : purposeful activity : busyness

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Forever Odd is a direct sequel to 2003’s Odd Thomas, the book in which we were introduced to the title character, a young man who can see the dead. They can’t talk to him, but they can nudge him in the direction they want, which is usually to help them tidy up some unfinished business from when they were alive. — Charles De Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction, May 2006 The Sun may never set, but air temperatures can plummet to -4 degrees Fahrenheit, and blinding snowstorms appear without warning. Sunbathing here can be risky business: even huddled in our parkas and boots, the members of our expedition live under the constant threat of frostbite and hypothermia. — Terrie M. Williams, Natural History, October 2003 Such high attrition means that most of the dot-coms here today will be gone tomorrow. The business environment is already harsh, and competition is growing. — Ann Thayer, Chemical & Engineering News, 5 June 2000 Lancaster and Columbia have plenty of history apart from the Civil War, of course. For example, Lancaster was home to F. W. Woolworth’s first successful 5&10 and Milton S. Hershey’s first successful candy business. — Lancaster New Era, 2 July 1996 The store has lost a significant amount of business since the factory closed. She works in the publishing business. David has decided to go into business with his brother. Their publishing company is the best in the business. I have to go to New York City on business next week. They advertised to increase business. He has the skills necessary to run a business. The town is trying to attract new businesses. Do we have any other business we need to discuss? No, I didn’t ask him what he wanted the car for. That’s his business.

See MoreRecent Examples on the Web Cataldo’s family operates Jo-Cat’s pub, another Brady Streetbusiness. —Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “A new restaurant called St. Bibiana is planned for Brady Street,” 10 Jan. 2020Neon plans to launch later this year but has not yet landed on abusinessmodel. —Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN, “Neon’s ‘artificial human’ is a scary glimpse of the future that’s (mostly) still hype,” 10 Jan. 2020At Chevalier’s, Jefferson discusses her research on the history of Southern California’s African American involvement inbusinessprojects and leisure destinations from the 1910s to the 1960s. —Drew Tewksbury, Los Angeles Times, “From hidden histories to jungle adventures: 5 book talks for the week ahead,” 10 Jan. 2020Korn; and in Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) as David Bowie’sbusinesspartner. —Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, “Notable Deaths 2020,” 10 Jan. 2020Democrats were never going to vote for the 2017 tax cuts merely because those cuts also expanded the child credit and curtailed a fewbusinessdeductions. —Brian Riedl, National Review, “Senate Republicans Are Not ‘Obstructionist’,” 9 Jan. 2020Hitting the track in the winter has been all but foreign for Reinbold’s drivers and crew since 2014, when a series ofbusinessdeals, rather than on-track performance, tore down the support of his team from the inside. —Nathan Brown, Indianapolis Star, “Dreyer and Reinbold Racing increasing IndyCar race count: ‘We’ve got a lot to learn’,” 9 Jan. 2020Fewer and fewer homeowners andbusinessfolks want to continue using chemicals if low-impact solutions that work are available. —Howard Garrett, Dallas News, “Meet our favorite ladybug in disguise,” 8 Jan. 2020But when Kylie Jenner outfits incorporate abusiness-formal piece like a blazer, there’s obviously a twist. —Whitney Perry, Glamour, “The Kylie Jenner Outfits Everyone Can Copy (and Instagram),” 8 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘business.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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