How to pronounce


The word "businesses" can be broken down into sounds, providing a clear guide on how to pronounce it in both British and American English. Here are the IPA transcriptions:

  • American Pronunciation: /ˈbɪznɪsɪz/
    • Begins with the /b/ sound, where both lips come together briefly.
    • Followed by the /ɪ/ sound, a short, relaxed vowel similar to the 'i' in "bit".
    • The first /z/ sound comes next, voiced with a buzzing sound through the vocal cords, similar to an 's' but with vibration.
    • The /n/ sound, produced by pressing the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, just behind the upper front teeth.
    • The /ɪ/ sound appears again, following the same pronunciation as before.
    • Another /s/ sound, though in this context, it sounds more like a 'z', indicating the plural form.
    • Ends with the /ɪz/ sound, which is the plural marker often pronounced with an added vowel sound to ease the transition between the two consonants.
  • British Pronunciation: /ˈbɪznəsɪz/
    • Very similar to the American pronunciation, with slight variations:
    • The primary difference is in the third syllable, where the vowel sound /ə/, known as a schwa, is used instead of the /ɪ/. The schwa is the most common vowel sound in English, pronounced as a quick, relaxed, and unstressed 'uh'.

Definition of


Businesses (n): The plural form of "business", referring to commercial organizations or establishments engaged in professional, commercial, or industrial activities. It can also denote the activities themselves or the study of such activities.

What does it mean


The origin of "business" lies in the Old English word bisignis ("care, anxiety, occupation"), from bisig ("careful, anxious, busy, occupied, diligent") plus the suffix -ness, which denotes a state or condition. This term evolved over time from the Middle English businesse, which had a broader meaning encompassing the notion of being occupied with activities or tasks. The modern sense of "business" as commercial engagements or trade emerged in the 17th century, reflecting a shift towards economic activities. The plural form "businesses" follows the standard English rule of adding -es to nouns ending in -s, -ss, -sh, -ch, -x, or -z to form plurals, especially when it changes the pronunciation to include an extra syllable, making the word easier to pronounce.

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