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Related to mean business: run ragged, rough it, ring hollow
to be very, very serious. Stop laughing! I mean business. I could tell from the look on her face that she meant business.
Be in earnest. For example, He really means business with this deadline. This idiom uses business in the sense of "a serious endeavor." [Mid-1800s]
COMMON If you mean business, you are serious and determined about what you are doing. One of them poked a shotgun at me. I could see he meant business. Now, in the wake of the student-led demonstrations, the party is trying to convince people it means business.
mean businessbe in earnest.
1992 New York Times The protest is a matter of principle…and also a necessary act of assertiveness by the delegates to show they mean business.
mean ˈbusiness(informal) be serious about what you plan to do; be determined: He means business. If we try to escape, he’ll shoot us. ♢ I’m not joking. This time I really mean business.
tv. to be very, very serious. Stop laughing! I mean business.
To be in earnest.