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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Busi·ness n.; pl. Businesses
 1. 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.
 2. Any particular occupation or employment engaged in for livelihood or gain, as agriculture, trade, art, or a profession. “The business of instruction.”
 3. 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.
 4. 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.
 5. 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.
 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.
 7. Care; anxiety; diligence. [Obs.]
 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.