Business English | List of Business English Phrases and Words With Description

Business English: There are some common misconceptions in today’s world regarding the use of regular English and business English. Business English vocabulary is used in the corporate world, all across the globe.

Fluency with the English business phrases and sayings gives one an added advantage with everything in the corporate world, whether job applications, meetings, presentations and many more.

In this writing, we have developed a list of business English phrases and words that will increase your business English fluency. These are common business English expressions you must know to stand strong in the corporate world.

Study the most important English Vocabulary Words identified by our experts and learn the right vocabulary to use in your day to day conversations

List of Business English Phrases and Words

Name of Business English Phrases and Words

Description of Business English Phrases and Words

To brainstorm

Meaning: This implies spending time thinking about many ideas on any topic or problem.

Example: We must do some brainstorming before we start detail planning on Friday.


Meaning: This implies doing many tasks at the same time.

Example: My mom is great at multitasking; she can handle so many things at the same time.

To stay on top of (something)

Meaning: This means staying in control by not being behind on work or letting work pile up.

Example: I have to finish so much work before our trip that it’s becoming difficult to stay on top of it all.

To think outside the box.

Meaning: This implies coming up with solutions that are different from what is normally done or thinking of anything creative to any unusual problem.

Example: Our professor encourages us to think outside the box by allowing us to spend Thursday afternoon in the lab.

To be on the ball

Meaning: This comes from the sports field. When one is on the ball, one has to be alert and not make any mistakes. It implies the same at work.

Example: Sam was chosen as the captain as he always stays on the ball and takes proper responsibility.

To pull strings

Meaning: What happens when one pulls the strings to a puppet? It does what the individual wants it to do. This phrase implies using the individual’s influence or power to make something happen, which would generally be impossible or difficult.

Example: It isn’t easy to get an appointment with the CEO, but I can pull some strings to make it happen.


Meaning: This time when one is not busy working on their primary job.

Example: After a hectic week, I look forward to some quality downtime at home.

To bite off more than one can chew

Meaning: If one puts too much food in their mouth at once, it isn’t easy to eat. Likewise, if one accepts too much work or any project that is too big or difficult, they might not complete it. This implies biting more than one can chew.

Example: He bought the old car but soon realised he had bitten off more than he could chew.


Meaning: An individual who works well as a member of a team.

Example: Naina worked really hard for the school, and she was a team player.


Meaning: Refers to an organisation or company in the beginning stages of their operations founded by one or more entrepreneurs.

Example: I needed my father’s assistance to build my start-up.

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Meaning: This is the act of working together with other individuals or organisations for creating or achieving something.

Example: The two multinationals’ companies are working in collaboration with each other.


Meaning: An individual who sets up any business or business, taking on financial risks with the hope of profit.

Example: Anil is a risk-taker which makes him an ideal entrepreneur.

Shared workspace

Meaning: The arrangement in which workers from different companies share any office space, which allows cost savings and convenience.

Example: All the employees work in a shared workspace on the 5th floor of this building.


Meaning: These are very large companies operating in various countries around the world. They have many stores and offices for carrying out their work.

Example: Lenovo is a multinational company known best for selling laptops, mobile phones and computers.


Meaning: A structure or plan which shows how much money the organisation or company expects to earn and spend during any particular period.

Example: The budget of the company has been lowered due to the pandemic.


Meaning: A business in which one starts and runs it and works for themselves – usually through independent contract work from various contracts.

Example: She quit her 9 to 5 job to start her career as a freelance photographer.

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Meaning: The phenomenon in which the market entrants come armed with non-conventional business models.

Example: Netflix has served as a disruption marketing idea.


Meaning: Starting to produce a range of various types of products or services for succeeding in more markets or protecting themselves against risk.

Example: Big Bazaar is known to be diversification, having all the products at one stop.

Gig economy

Meaning: It is a free as well as a global market where the contractors and companies set short-term and on-demand professional relationships which are both flexible and skill-based.

Example: The challenge that the gig economy poses to policymakers is twofold.


Meaning: The increase in number, size, or importance of something which works as an advantage for the company or organisation.

Example: The company is set on a significant expansion before the start of the financial year.


Meaning: The combination of various skills which someone has and can use in a specific job.

Example: The interviewers will analyse and test your skillsets during the job interview.


Meaning: An individual who has been paid to give expert training or advice on any specific subject.

Example: The consultant has demanded to learn about our progress on next week meeting.


Meaning: The sector is the area or portion which is distinct from others. Any company can have many sectors which in all manages the working of the entire country.

Example: The IT sector is exponentially growing, creating employment for many people.

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Meaning: The government’s income from excise duties, taxation, customs and other sources, appropriated for the payment of the public expenses.

Example: She derived revenue from the taxes, which she was empowered to exact.


Meaning: Starting a new company or organisation.

Example: Apple is going to launch their new iPhones tomorrow, and it is going to break the market.


Meaning: Capital is the large sum of money which one uses to start their business or which they invest in order to make more money.

Example: My father made the capital investment when I was starting my own company.

Board of Directors

Meaning: The group of individuals who the shareholders of the company have elected for managing the company.

Example: The board of directors have decided to host a meeting next week, and all the managers are expected to be present.

Brand awareness

Meaning: The degree to which individuals are familiar with or prefer any specific brand.

Example: Akash mentioned in today’s meeting that the new commercials had boosted brand awareness by 300 per cent.

Close a deal

Meaning: Signing or completing a business contract or negotiation.

Example: The politician hired a high-powered attorney to once and for all close the deal.

Human Resources

Meaning: The human resources department has the responsibility of training, recruiting and looking after the welfare of the employees.

Example: The head of the human resources department is a great friend of mine.

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Meaning: An individual or organisation which owns the shares in a company.

Example: At the end of the year, each shareholder received a payment as a return of their investments.

Conference call

Meaning: A phone call involving more than two individuals is usually done for discussing any common topic concerning them all.

Example: Today in the evening, we will have to arrange a conference call with all the team members to discuss this presentation.

Call it a day

Meaning: This implies that one is giving up on something. This could refer to taking a break from any project.

Example: I looked for my dog all over the city but had to call it a day since it was getting dark.

Cut corners

Meaning: This implies completing any task in a fast and careless manner – doing something without paying attention to the details making mistakes, or causing problems.

Example: The company has been blamed for cutting corners and which is also a reason why their sales have gone down.

Touch base

Meaning: This phrase means to ‘touch base’ with any individual is to talk to them, whether in person or digitally, generally briefly.

Example: I called my co-workers every week to stay up-to-date with office work when I was on maternity leave.

Back to the drawing board

Meaning: This implies starting again from the very beginning with a brand-new idea.

Example: Anup’s experiment was a failure, so he is back to the drawing board.

Reach out

Meaning: This means to get in contact with an individual, generally a person who you must not know very well.

Example: The chief minister is reaching out to the rural parts of the city to include them in the development plans.

Drill down into

Meaning: Exploring something in more depth.

Example: At this point, we must drill down into the case to learn more about what the client wants.

Keep me in the loop.

Meaning: This phrase implies keeping someone involved and updated regarding developments in any project.

Example: Just keep me in the loop; I’ll get back to you with all the needed and valid information.

At the end of the day

Meaning: This phrase implies when everything is taken into consideration.

Example: I believe you will have the money at the end of the day.

Forward planning

Meaning: This phrase implies planning since all the planning is for the activities which will take place in the future.

Example: It is always good to practise forward planning when starting on a new project.

Get the ball rolling.

Meaning: To get started on anything; beginning to make meaningful progress.

Example: She’s timid, so she waits for someone else to get the ball rolling.

Stay ahead of the curve.

Meaning: It means to maintain any advantage one has gained over the competition.

Example: By equipping their cars with Wi-Fi, the company is staying ahead of the curve.

Cut to the chase

Meaning: This implies getting to the point without wasting any time.

Example: I know you have your exams tomorrow, so I’ll cut to the chase and leave you alone.

Best practice

Meaning: This is a method that is accepted to be the most effective means of doing something.

Example: The HR decided that clear desks are the best practice for the entire office.

Heads up

Meaning: To inform or warn an individual in advance about something so that they are able to prepare themselves.

Example: Heads up Janet, the CEO, is coming from Australia today, and he is going to want to see the office in the best condition.

Address an issue

Meaning: When one decides that it’s time to discuss a particular problem.

Example: I think it is about time we address the issue of budget.

Pull it off

Meaning: This implies to succeed in doing something unexpected or challenging.

Example: She was not very confident about doing the presentation, but she pulled it off, and everyone was impressed.

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