mean business


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Related to mean business: run ragged, rough it, ring hollow

mean business

To be grave and resolute; to be serious about what one is promising or proposing to do. Mom sounded like she means business, so you 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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References in periodicals archive ?
A grand setting for those who mean business to meet, connect and make things started.
The next We Mean Business networking meeting will be held on 10 September.
Mr Hoon said: "It is clearly necessary that we demonstrate to Saddam Hussein and his regime that we mean business."
With an Armalite in one hand and a big bloody bin in the other, the IRA could really show their enemy that they mean business - and this time it's for good.
There are four main collections: Work has sleek and classy watches that mean business; Play adds fun to functional for those with an active lifestyle; Glam watches are perfect for the trend fiend who wants to look 'on fleek'; and Love consists of watches for couples who can't spend a second apart.
PROCRASTINATION will be a thing of the past for the newly launched We Mean Business networking group when it meets on 13 August.
LIVERPOOL St Helens president Ray French has declared that the team "mean business" as they look to keep up their challenge for promotion from North One West.
Defence specialist Edwards has left no-one in any doubt that Wales mean business.
But when rabbits start twitching their nose, they mean business.
Prices should have been reduced after relegation, and money brought in from sales and lower wages needs to be spent in January to convince the stayaways that we mean business.
When Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul spent the first half an hour dispatching the ball beyond the ropes, the holders appeared to mean business. But Australia seized the initiative through Nathan Bracken's triple strike and a target of 139, reduced to 116 from 35 overs after rain, caused few alarms.
SEXY Rachel Stevens shouldn't have any trouble getting a new bloke after donning this leather outfit for her gig at G-A-Y in London With more than a passing nod to the Village People, Rachel seemed to mean business as she strutted her stuff ahead of today's release of her new album, Come And Get It.
Like A Bomb, Neeps and Tatties and current single Riot Radio showed these guys mean business. They saved the best for last with debut single You're Not The Law.
STUDENTS on the executive MBA programme at Coventry University Business School will quiz Warwickshire-based Tory MEP Philip Bushill-Matthews (below) asking: Does Europe mean business? on Thursday.
Mike Nolan of AWM's business development group said, "Gaining IPC-A-610 has done much to boost our credibility and sends out a clear message to our competitors that we mean business.