Dictionary Glossary

This is a full glossary/dictionary of useful words you will find on Big Business English.

  • accountant [ business-vocab ]

    An accountant is a financial professional who prepares the accounts for companies or individuals and gives advice about tax.

    If you need to solve a problem relating to tax, speak to your accountant.

  • CEO [ business-vocab ]

    The CEO or Chief Executive Officer is the boss! They are usually the top person in the company.

    CEO is an acronym.

    Harold Braithwaite, the CEO of Kellman Media Inc, told investors that it had been a good year for the company, but next year would be more difficult.

  • compliance [ business-vocab ]

    This is the function in company of making sure that its activities comply with (or follow) regulations and legal obligations.
    Mark works in the back office of an investment bank. His department is responsible for all compliance issues relating to buying and selling shares in companies.
  • concede [ business-vocab, general-vocab ]

    If you concede something it means you admit it is true.

    Hiroshi conceded that the company's Engineering division was underperforming and could improve.

    The noun of concede is concession.

    The management had to make concessions to the union to end the strike, which was damaging the company's profits.

    Note: in Business English a concession is a company that operates inside another company, e.g. a retail concession. This is basically a separate shop or counter inside a larger store.

    Clytemnestra Sharpe, the exclusive fashion and perfume label, has a concession inside the luxury department store Gilbert & Sons.


  • consume [ business-vocab ]

    If you consume something it means you use it and then there is less of it than before (or none).

    This machine consumes a lot of energy.

    The noun of consume is consumption.

    Domestic consumption fell last year because people are spending less money in the shops.

    A person who consumes something is a consumer.

    Consumers are looking for high quality and a low price.

  • courier [ business-vocab ]

    A courier is a person or a company that delivers parcels and documents. Courier services are operated by private companies.

    I called a courier to send an important document to a company.

  • customer [ business-vocab ]

    A customer is someone who buys something from a company.
    We talk to our customers regularly to find out exactly what they want.
  • department [ business-vocab ]

    A department is part or section of a company responsible for a particular function, e.g. Finance, Human Resources, Production, Sales, etc
    Fiona works in the Human Resources department at an energy company in Seattle.
  • glance [ business-idioms, business-vocab ]

    The word glance means to look at something quickly. It can be both a noun and a verb.
    Sophia glanced at her watch during the meeting.
    The expression at first glance means when you look at something for the first time, or your initial impression.
    At first glance, this looked like a good investment opportunity, but in fact there were some problems with the comp.
  • HR [ business-vocab ]

    The HR or Human Resources department looks after the people who work in a company.

    Fuad asked asked the HR department how many days he could take off for his holidays.

  • line [ business-vocab ]

    A line of products means a range or group of items with similar characteristics or branding.
    Our new line of anti-bacterial kitchen utensils will keep you and your family safe.
    In a company, a line can also be a way of organising the activity.
    The person immediately above you in a company organised this way is your line manager.
    I spoke to my line manager about the new project.
  • marketing [ business-vocab ]

    Marketing is the activity of finding markets and customers for a product and selling it, using advertising and communication.

    The marketing department conducted research in order to understand what customers want.

  • mess [ business-vocab ]

    A mess means a disordered or chaotic situation.
    Manager: Why are all these boxes here? They should be in the storage room. Clear this mess up immediately!
    Worker: Yes, Sir! I'll do it immediately. I'm very sorry.
  • parcel [ business-vocab, general-vocab ]

    A parcel is a box or bag that you send to someone.

    You usually wrap a parcel in brown paper or plastic.

    Howard sent a parcel to the United States.

    You can also call this a package.

    Parcel is more common in British English , while package is more usual in American English.

  • supervisor [ business-vocab ]

    A supervisor is a person responsible for managing or looking after a team of people in a company.
    Lana is the supervisor of a team of ten people in the Customer Complaints department.
  • transcription [ business-vocab ]

    A transcription is a written text of someone speaking. Sometimes the text is called a transcript.
    Hamid read the transcription of a speech by the CEO.
  • water cooler [ business-vocab, general-vocab ]

      A water cooler is a device for dispensing mineral water from a large bottle. 

    Everyone was standing round the water cooler chatting.

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