(redirected from his business)


1. informal Severe repudiation, scorn, or scolding. I know I'm going to get the business when my boss finds out I lost our most lucrative account. Johnny's parents gave him the business after he ran their car into a ditch.
2. informal That which needs to be done or accomplished in a particular situation. You can always count on Rebecca to do the business if a situation has gone awry. OK, that's enough goofing around. Let's get down to business!
3. euphemism Urination or defecation. There aren't any toilets where we'll be camping, so you'll have to do your business out in the woods. Make sure the dog does its business outside.
4. vulgar slang Sexual activity. If you're not giving your lady the business each night, then she'll start looking for it somewhere else. C'mon, baby, let's go back to my room and do the business!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


1. harassment; a scolding; general bad treatment. (*Typically: get ~; give someone ~.) The guys have been giving me the business about my new hairstyle. Sam was giving Tom the business about being late all the time.
2. Sl an execution. (Underworld. *Typically: get ~; give someone ~.) The mob wanted to give him the business for confessing to the federal prosecutor.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

the business

1. Verbal abuse, scolding, or teasing; also, a beating. For example, At boarding school new kids always get the business, or The boxer faked and then gave his opponent the business. [Slang; c. 1940]
2. A harsh interrogation, as in The detectives gave each suspect the business. [Slang; c. 1940]
3. Dismissal from work or jilting, as in Once the new management takes over I'm sure to get the business, or Dorothy gave him the business and married someone else. [Slang; c. 1940]
See also: business
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.