Learner's definition of BUSINESS
1 a : the activity of making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money
— often used before another noun
The store will be open for business next week. [=the store will be ready for customers next week]
The store has lost a significant amount of business since the factory closed.
Allowing customers to leave your store unsatisfied is bad (for) business.
The new Web site has been good for (attracting) business.
What line of business [=work] are you in?
She works in the publishing business.
the fashion/music/restaurant business
We do business with [=sell to or buy from] companies overseas.
David has decided to go into business with his brother.
Remember that your customers can take their business elsewhere. [=your customers can go to another place to do business]
Their publishing company is the best in the business.
a place of business [=a place, such as a store, bank, etc., where business is done]
b : work that is part of a job— sometimes used before another noun
The business world is responding to changes in technology. [=businesses are responding to changes in technology]
Someone will be available to answer your call during regular business hours. [=the hours that the office is open to do business]
a business meeting [=a meeting at which matters of business are discussed]
c : the amount of activity that is done by a store, company, factory, etc.
a business trip [=a trip that is made in order to do business]
I am flying business class [=in a seating section of an airplane that is more expensive than the main section but less expensive than first class] from Tokyo to New York.
Business has been slow/bad lately. [=there have been few customers, sales, etc., lately]
Business was good/booming.
They advertised to increase business.
How is business?
2 [count] : an organization (such as a store, company, or factory) that makes, buys, or sells goods or provides services in exchange for money
— sometimes used before another noun
He has the skills necessary to run/operate/start a business.
The town is trying to attract new businesses.
She joined the family business [=the business owned or operated by her family] after graduating from college.
I had lunch with some business associates.
In addition to being married, the two are also business partners.
The restaurant is in the business district. [=the part of a city or town where there are many businesses]
the business community [=people involved in the upper levels of businesses]
3 [singular] : something that concerns a particular person, group, etc.: something that needs to be considered or dealt with
Do we have any other business we need to discuss?
Air quality is a serious business. [=air quality is something people should think about seriously]
What's this business [=news] I hear about you moving away?
Educating students is the business [=responsibility] of schools.
No, I didn't ask him what he wanted the car for. That's his business.
I won't answer that question. Who I choose to vote for is my business.
He's decided to make it his business [=make it his goal] to bring more affordable housing to the city.
“Who did you vote for?” “That's none of your business.” [=that's private information that you should not be asking about]
It's no business of yours who I voted for.
◊ The phrase mind your own business is used as an informal and often somewhat impolite way to tell someone to stop watching or asking about something that is private.
To say that you were minding your own business when something happened means that you were doing what you normally do and were not bothering anyone.
If you say something is nobody's business, you mean that it is private and other people do not need to know about it.
Someone who has no business doing something has no right to do it.
4 [noncount] : something that must be done
I have some business in town Friday afternoon. [=I have to do something in town Friday afternoon]
He had to leave the meeting early because he had to attend to some unfinished business. [=something not done that needs to be done]
Now that we've all introduced ourselves, let's get down to business. [=start doing what needs to be done, start working]
I was just going about my business [=doing what I usually do], when I heard a big crash.
Sarah is good at taking care of business [=doing what needs to be done], so she's been put in charge of organizing the event.
The church has hired someone to take care of the bills and all that business. [=everything else that needs to be done]
A public library is in the business of providing information to the public. [=the job/purpose of a public library is to provide information]
I'm not in the business of lending money to people I hardly know. [=I don't lend money to people I hardly know]
5 [singular] : a matter, event, or situation— usually used after an adjective
Divorce can be such a messy business. [=affair]
The earthquake was a terrible business.
Predicting how people will react to something is a tricky business.
Investing all your money in one stock is (a) very risky business.
“How long did the ceremony take?” “Oh, the whole business was over in less than an hour.”
Let's just forget about that business of me being unhappy with my job.
business as usual
— used to say that something is working or continuing in the normal or usual way
Much of the town lost electricity in the storm, but for people with generators it was business as usual.
As the election nears, both political parties continue to blame each other for all the city's problems. In other words, it's business as usual.
business is business
— used to say that in order for a business to be successful it is necessary to do things that may hurt or upset people
1 : operating as a business 2 informal : ready to begin doing or using something
Just plug in the computer and you're in business! [=you will be able to use the computer]
All the musicians have finally arrived, so we're in business!
He quickly changed the tire, and was back in business [=ready to drive again] in 10 minutes.
like nobody's businessinformal
: very well or quickly or in very large amounts
: to be serious about doing something
out of business
: closed down: no longer in business
My favorite flower shop is out of business.
Small grocery stores are being driven/forced/put out of business by large stores. [=small grocery stores cannot compete with large stores and so are closing permanently]
The store has gone out of business. [=has closed]
the businessBritish slang
: a very good or impressive person or thing
Since he's won the tournament, he thinks he's the business. [=the best]
You should see their new flat. It's the business.