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Word of the Day: Business

Good evening and welcome to Word of the Day! A journey through the English vocabulary and the words that piqued my interest, in WotD we’ll be learning a new word for each working day of the week, bar holidays, unless there’s a holiday special...





1 A person’s regular occupation, profession, or trade: she had to do a lot of smiling in her business | are you here on business?


• An activity that someone is engaged in: what is your business here?

• A person’s concern: this is none of your business | the neighbors make it their business to know all about you.


• Work that has to be done or matters that have to be attended to: government business | let’s get down to business.

2 The practice of making one’s living by engaging in commerce: the world of business | whom do you do business with in Manila? | the jewelry business | [ as modifier ] : the business community.


• Trade considered in terms of its volume or profitability: how’s business?

• A commercial house or firm: a catering business.

3 [ in sing. ] informal - An affair or series of events, typically a scandalous or discreditable one: they must be told about this blackmailing business.


• Informal a group of related or previously mentioned things: use carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli, and serve the whole business hot.

4 Theater actions other than dialogue performed by actors: a piece of business.

5 Informal a scolding; harsh verbal criticism: the supervisor really gave him the business.



business as usual an unchanging state of affairs despite difficulties or disturbances: apart from being under new management, it’s business as usual in the department.


have no business have no right to do something or be somewhere: he had no business tampering with social services.

in business operating, especially in commerce: they will have to import from overseas to remain in business. • informal able to begin operations: if you’ll contact the right people, I think we’ll be in business.


in the business of engaged in or prepared to engage in: I am not in the business of making accusations.

like nobody’s business informal to an extraordinarily high degree or standard: these weeds spread like nobody’s business.


mean business be in earnest.

mind one’s own business refrain from meddling in other people’s affairs: he was yelling at her to get out and mind her own business.


send someone about his/her business dated tell someone to go away.

ORIGIN: Old English bisignis (see busy + ness). The sense in Old English was ‘anxiety’; the sense ‘the state of being busy’ was used from Middle English down to the 18th cent., but is now differentiated as busyness. The sense ‘an appointed task’ dates from late Middle English, and from it all the other current senses have developed.

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