mean business

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Also found in: Acronyms.

mean business

To be grave and resolute; to be serious about what one is promising or proposing to do. It sounded like Mom means business, so you'd better clean your room.
See also: business, mean
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

mean business

to be very, very serious. Stop laughing! I mean business. I could tell from the look on her face that she meant business.
See also: business, mean
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

mean 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]
See also: business, mean
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

mean business

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.
See also: business, mean
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

mean business

be 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.
See also: business, mean
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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.
See also: business, mean
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

mean business

tv. to be very, very serious. Stop laughing! I mean business.
See also: business, mean
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

mean business

Informal
To be in earnest.
See also: business, mean
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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