Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


And if this is true with regard to men's businesses, is it not equally so with regard to women's?

Not one half of the businesses which should be exploited are appearing in the newspapers.

Just as the men farm their own land, the women own their businesses.

People are, for once, minding their own businesses, bless 'em.

There seemed to be a fast turnover of businesses in Tetrahyde.

Credit had been established again, and the businesses were open.

I belong to each and all of these businesses and professions.

Did businesses not have the right to choose their customers?

Some of the businesses he financed were on the border line of respectability.

These little proprietors of businesses are lords indeed on their own ground.


Old English bisignes (Northumbrian) "care, anxiety, occupation," from bisig "careful, anxious, busy, occupied, diligent" (see busy (adj.)) + -ness. Middle English sense of "state of being much occupied or engaged" (mid-14c.) is obsolete, replaced by busyness.

Sense of "a person's work, occupation" is first recorded late 14c. (in late Old English bisig (adj.) appears as a noun with the sense "occupation, state of employment"). Meaning "what one is about at the moment" is from 1590s. Sense of "trade, commercial engagements" is first attested 1727. In 17c. it also could mean "sexual intercourse." Modern two-syllable pronunciation is 17c.

Business card first attested 1840; business letter from 1766. Business end "the practical or effective part" (of something) is American English, by 1874. Phrase business as usual attested from 1865. To mean business "be intent on serious action" is from 1856. To mind (one's) own business is from 1620s. Johnson's dictionary also has busiless "At leisure; without business; unemployed."

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.