Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
The section of a business or company that is responsible for managing internal affairs (such as administration, information technology, and so on) and thus generally does not have contact with clients, customers, or the general public. You should ask one of the people in the back office for help with your computer. I spent so many years as part of the bank's back office that now I'm not sure I know the appropriate way to talk to a customer.
1. The place where one may purchase tickets to a performance, such as a film, play, concert, etc.; usually located within the venue. You can purchase your tickets online, but if you'd like to pay in cash, you can buy them at our box office.
2. A show's or performance's overall financial success as measured by ticket sales, usually used in the form "at the box office. Though it was critically acclaimed as the summer's best movie, it didn't do very well at the box office.
A film that performs very poorly in ticket sales, earning less than the cost of production. After its third box-office bomb in a row, the film studio was forced to close down.
See also: bomb
Could I see you in my office?and Can I see you in my office?
I want to talk to you in the privacy of my office. (Typically said by a supervisor to a lower-ranking employee.) "Mr. Franklin," said Bill's boss sort of sternly, "Could I see you in my office for a minute? We need to talk about something."
do a land-office business
Fig. to do a large amount of buying or selling in a short period of time. The icecream shop always does a land-office business on a hot day. The tax collector's office did a land-office business on the day that taxes were due.
force someone out of officeand drive someone out of office; drive someone out; force someone out
to drive someone out of an elective office. The city coun il forced out the mayor, who resigned under pressure. Please resign immediately, or I'll have to drive you out.
Fig. a large amount of business done in a short period of time. We always do a land-office business at this time of year. We keep going. Never do land-office business—just enough to make out.
to begin serving as an elected or appointed official. When did the mayor take office? All the elected officials took office just after the election.
the front office(American)
the managers of a company The front office has decided to cut back on technical staff. (American)
do a land-office business(American old-fashioned)
if a company does a land-office business, they are very successful in selling their product They only set up the company eight months ago and they're doing a land-office business.
1. The office where seats for a play, concert, or other form of entertainment may be purchased, as in Tickets are available at the box office. It is so called because originally (17th century) it was the place for hiring a box, a special compartment of theater seats set aside for ladies. [Second half of 1700s]
2. The financial receipts from a performance; also, a show's relative success in attracting a paying audience. For example, You may not consider it great art, but this play is good box office. [c. 1900]
The policy-making or executive individuals in an organization, as in I'll have to check with the front office before I can give you a discount. This term was originally underworld slang for police headquarters or the main detective bureau. It soon was extended to other administrative offices and their personnel. [c. 1900]
A thriving, expanding, or very profitable concern or volume of trade. For example, After the storm they did a land-office business in snow shovels and rock salt. This term, dating from the 1830s, alludes to the throng of applicants to government land offices through which Western lands were sold. It has been used for other booming business since the mid-1800s.
Assume an official position or employment, as in The new chair takes office after the first of the year. [Mid-1800s]
I gave at the office
An explanation for not contributing to a cause or organization, or an excuse not to donate or participate in anything. Campaigns for civic and charitable causes like the Red Cross and Community Chest were once far more prevalent at places of business than they now are, and people routinely made donations. Someone who was approached at home or elsewhere could have a valid excuse of “I gave through the office.”By extension, the phrase came to be used to slough off any kind of request. For example, someone who asked for a $20 loan might have been met with “Sorry, I gave at the office.” An old chestnut of a joke tells about the man who was lost on a camping trip. Rescuers scoured the wilderness until a medical emergency team finally spotted a solitary figure across a wide chasm. “Charlie Smith,” someone shouted,” “is that you?” “Yes, it is,” came the reply. “Who are you?” “We're from the Red Cross.” “I gave through the office!” Charlie shouted back.