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business (n.)

古英语 bisignes (诺桑比亚语)"关心、焦虑、占领",来自 bisig "小心、焦虑、忙碌、占领、勤奋"(见 busy (adj.))。+ -ness 。原义已经过时,中英文的"状态多被占用或从事"(14世纪中叶)也是如此,后者被 busyness 。约翰逊的词典中也有 busiless "在闲暇时;没有生意;失业"。现代双音节发音为17世纪

"一个人的工作、职业、一个人为了生计而做的事"的意义最早记载于14世纪晚期(在古英语晚期 bisig (adj.)作为名词出现,意义为"职业、就业状态")。"that which is undertaken as a duty"的意义来自14世纪末。"what one is about at the moment"的意义来自1590年代。"贸易、商业约定、商业追求集体"的意义最早见于1727年,是关于"占据一个人的时间和注意力的事务"的概念。在17世纪 business ,也可以指"性行为"。

Business card 最早见于1840年。 business letter 从1766年开始。 Business end "the practical or effective part"(某事的实际或有效部分)是美国英语,到1874年。词组 business as usual 从1865年开始证明。至 mean business "意在必行"出自1856年。要 mind (one's) own business "事不关己,高高挂起"是1620年代的说法。

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Definitions of business from WordNet

business (n.)
the volume of commercial activity;
show me where the business was today
business is good today
business (n.)
a commercial or industrial enterprise and the people who constitute it;
a racially integrated business concern
he bought his brother's business
a small mom-and-pop business
Synonyms: concern / business concern / business organization / business organisation
business (n.)
the activity of providing goods and services involving financial and commercial and industrial aspects;
computers are now widely used in business
Synonyms: commercial enterprise / business enterprise
business (n.)
the principal activity in your life that you do to earn money;
he's not in my line of business
Synonyms: occupation / job / line of work / line
business (n.)
a rightful concern or responsibility;
mind your own business
it's none of your business
business (n.)
an immediate objective;
gossip was the main business of the evening
business (n.)
business concerns collectively;
Government and business could not agree
Synonyms: business sector
business (n.)
customers collectively;
Synonyms: clientele / patronage
business (n.)
incidental activity performed by an actor for dramatic effect;
his business with the cane was hilarious
Synonyms: stage business / byplay
From wordnet.princeton.edu