Dictionary Glossary

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

  • 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.
  • mouse cursor [ general-vocab ]

    two mouse cursors

    The mouse cursor (or just cursoris a small picture which tells you where the mouse is on your computer screen.

    If you move the mouse around on your mouse pad the cursor will follow its movements on your screen.

  • native [ general-vocab ]

    A native speaker is someone who learnt or acquired a particular language as their first (and possibly only) language.
    Native English speakers automatically know the grammar of the language without studying it.
    A native of a particular place means that person was born there.
    James is a native of Glasgow. 
  • packaging

    The word package can be a noun or a verb.
    A package or parcel is something that you give or send to someone.
    Raoul sent a package to Trueforth Shaw's London office.
    To package something means to wrap it up in material.
    Packaging means a box, bag or container that a product comes in.
    Consumers are influenced by the design, colour and quality of packaging when they buy a product.
  • paperwork

    The paperwork is the documentation for a  business transaction or project. It usually refers to the payment or contract. 

    If I you send me the paperwork for the redevelopment project I'll get Accounts to approve it and we can pay your invoice ASAP.

  • 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.

  • pause [ general-vocab ]

    If you pause something it means you stop it temporarily.
    Ayesha paused the video and wrote down a summary of what the speaker had said.
    Pause can also be a noun.
    Some people were shouting in the street. There was a pause, then they started again.
  • petty [ general-vocab ]

    If something or someone is petty it means they are small or they think in a small way.

    Chris is so petty. He worries about things that aren't really important.

    Petty cash means a small amount of money usually kept in a box in an office. It used for making small cash payments, e.g. stationery, office supplies, tea and coffee, etc.

    Mike took ten  pounds of petty cash to pay the pizza delivery guy. Everyone was working late and there was no time to go out for dinner. 

  • plaster

    1. (noun) A plaster is a small strip of adhesive tape with an antiseptic dressing. You stick it onto your skin if you cut yourself.

    Sameera cut her finger on a knife, so she got a plaster from the first-aid box.

    2. (noun) A building material that you put on a wall to make it smooth.

    (verb) To plaster a wall means to put plaster on it to make it smooth. When you do this it's called plastering.

    Jeff plastered the walls of the bedroom before he painted it.




  • reduce [ general-vocab ]

    If you reduce something it means you make it smaller.
    The noun of reduce is reduction.
    Allthwaite's Ltd have reduced their staff by 10% to cut costs.
    In Business English, the word reduce is often used in relation to prices:
    Krazy Karpets, the No.1 place for carpets, have got some MASSIVE reductions this summer. 75% off - we  can't be beaten on price!
  • repeat [ general-vocab ]

    If you repeat something it means you do it again.
    The noun of repeat is repetition.
    There was a lot of repetition in her presentation. She kept using the same expressions. It would have been better if she had used some different phrases and added more variety.
  • retail

    This is the business sector related to selling products to individual or private customers. Retail usually happens in shops or online.

    Lars has a lot of retail experience. He has worked in several large department stores.

  • signal [ general-vocab ]

    A signal is a sign or command to do something.
    When the signal changed from red to green the train started moving.
  • stative verb [ general-vocab ]

    A stative verb is a verb that is not normally used in continuous tenses.
    Some examples of stative verbs are: think, know, seem, like, etc.
    Know is a stative verb. Say I know Harold, not I am knowing Harold.
  • 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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