from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A sculpture representing a person's head, shoulders, and upper chest.
  • n. A woman's bosom.
  • n. The human chest.
  • transitive v. Slang To smash or break, especially forcefully: "Mr. Luger worked it with a rake, busting up the big clods, making a flat brown table” ( Garrison Keillor).
  • transitive v. Slang To render inoperable or unusable: busted the vending machine by putting in foreign coins.
  • transitive v. To cause to come to an end; break up: an attempt to bust the union.
  • transitive v. To break or tame (a horse).
  • transitive v. To cause to become bankrupt or short of money: "Too often, the promise of a high-tech design leads to a weapon that busts the budget” ( Business Week).
  • transitive v. Slang To reduce in rank. See Synonyms at demote.
  • transitive v. To hit; punch.
  • transitive v. Slang To place under arrest.
  • transitive v. Slang To make a police raid on.
  • intransitive v. Slang To undergo breakage; become broken.
  • intransitive v. Slang To burst; break: "Several companies have threatened to bust out of their high-wage contracts by the dubious technique of declaring bankruptcy” ( Washington Post).
  • intransitive v. To become bankrupt or short of money.
  • intransitive v. Games To lose at blackjack by exceeding a score of 21.
  • n. A failure; a flop: "The home-style bean curd is a bust, oily and rubbery” ( Mark and Gail Barnett).
  • n. A state of bankruptcy.
  • n. A time or period of widespread financial depression: "Bankers consider the region's diversified economy to be good protection against a possible real estate bust” ( American Banker).
  • n. A punch; a blow.
  • n. A spree: a fraternity beer bust.
  • n. Slang An arrest.
  • n. Slang A raid.
  • idiom butt Vulgar Slang To make a strenuous effort; work very hard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To break something
  • v. To arrest for a crime
  • v. To catch someone in the act of doing something wrong, socially and morally inappropriate, or illegal, especially when being done in a sneaky or secretive state.
  • v. An emphatic to do
  • v. To reduce in rank.
  • v. To lose all of one's chips.
  • v. To exceed a score of 21.
  • n. The act of arresting someone for a crime, or raiding a suspected criminal operation:
  • n. A failed enterprise; a bomb.
  • n. A player who is drafted at a high position and fails.
  • adj. without any money, broke
  • n. A sculptural portrayal of a person's head and shoulders
  • n. The breasts and upper thorax of a woman

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A piece of sculpture representing the upper part of the human figure, including the head, shoulders, and breast.
  • n. The portion of the human figure included between the head and waist, whether in statuary or in the person; the chest or thorax; the upper part of the trunk of the body.
  • n. A woman's bosom{2}.
  • intransitive v. To break or burst.
  • intransitive v. In blackjack, to draw a card that causes one's total to exceed twenty-one.
  • intransitive v. To go bankrupt.
  • transitive v. To arrest, for committing a crime; -- often used in the passive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A dialectal or vulgar form of burst.
  • To put a tar-mark upon (sheep).
  • To break to the saddle, as an intractable bronco.
  • n. A dialectal or vulgar form of burst.
  • n. Specifically, a spree: as, to go on a bust.
  • n. The chest, thorax, or breast; the trunk of the human body above the waist.
  • n. In sculpture, the figure of a person in relief, showing only the head, shoulders, and breast.
  • n. A tar-mark on sheep.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. break open or apart suddenly and forcefully
  • n. a complete failure
  • v. go to pieces
  • n. an occasion for excessive eating or drinking
  • n. the chest of a woman
  • v. separate or cause to separate abruptly
  • v. ruin completely
  • v. search without warning, make a sudden surprise attack on
  • adj. lacking funds
  • n. a sculpture of the head and shoulders of a person


French buste, from Italian busto, possibly from Latin bustum, sepulchral monument.
Variant of burst.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French buste < Italian busto, probably from Latin būstum. (Wiktionary)
From the verb to burst. (Wiktionary)



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  • Tar mark upon sheep, commonly the initials of the proprietor's name. --Dr. Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary and Supplement, 1841. Also boost.

    May 10, 2011

  • Wordie or ____

    September 25, 2008