Busi"ness (?), n.; pl. Businesses (#). [From Busy.]


That which busies one, or that which engages the time, attention, or labor of any one, as his principal concern or interest, whether for a longer or shorter time; constant employment; regular occupation; as, the business of life; business before pleasure.

Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? Luke ii. 49.


Any particular occupation or employment engaged in for livelihood or gain, as agriculture, trade, art, or a profession.

"The business of instruction."



Financial dealings; buying and selling; traffic in general; mercantile transactions.

It seldom happens that men of a studious turn acquire any degree of reputation for their knowledge of business. Bp. Popteus.


That which one has to do or should do; special service, duty, or mission.

The daughter of the King of France, On serious business, craving quick despatch, Importunes personal conference. Shak.

What business has the tortoise among the clouds? L'Estrange.


Affair; concern; matter; -- used in an indefinite sense, and modified by the connected words.

It was a gentle business, and becoming The action of good women. Shak.

Bestow Your needful counsel to our business. Shak.

6. Drama

The position, distribution, and order of persons and properties on the stage of a theater, as determined by the stage manager in rehearsal.


Care; anxiety; diligence.



To do one's business, to ruin one. [Colloq.] Wycherley. -- To make (a thing) one's business, to occupy one's self with a thing as a special charge or duty. [Colloq.] -- To mean business, to be earnest. [Colloq.]

Syn. -- Affairs; concern; transaction; matter; engagement; employment; calling; occupation; trade; profession; vocation; office; duty.


© Webster 1913.

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