Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To display activity with a certain amount of noise or agitation; be active and stirring; move quickly and energetically: sometimes used, reflexively.
  • noun Activity with noise and agitation; stir; hurry-scurry.
  • noun A pad, cushion, curved frame-work of wire, or the like, worn by women on the back part of the body below the waist for the purpose of improving the figure, causing the folds of the skirt to hang gracefully, and preventing the skirt from interfering with the feet in walking.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Great stir; agitation; tumult from stirring or excitement.
  • intransitive verb To move noisily; to be rudely active; to move in a way to cause agitation or disturbance.
  • noun A kind of pad or cushion worn on the back below the waist, by women, to give fullness to the skirts; -- called also bishop, and tournure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An excited activity; a stir.
  • noun computing A cover to protect and hide the back panel of a computer or other office machine.
  • noun obsolete A frame worn underneath a woman's skirt.
  • verb To move busily and energetically with fussiness (often followed by about).
  • verb To teem or abound (usually followed by with); to exhibit an energetic and active abundance (of a thing). See also bustle with.

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

  • verb move or cause to move energetically or busily
  • noun a rapid active commotion
  • noun a framework worn at the back below the waist for giving fullness to a woman's skirt

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse búask ("to prepare oneself").

Examples

  • As the last melodies faded away, I heard a bustle from the doorway.

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  • All hurry or bustle is peculiarly painful to the sick.

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  • It is true, the populace retained themselves; but there arose a perpetual hum and bustle from the throng round the palace, which added to the noise of fireworks, the frequent explosion of arms, the tramp to and fro of horsemen and carriages, to which effervescence he was the focus, retarded his recovery.

    II.1

  • There is an air of cold, solitary desolation about the noiseless streets which we are accustomed to see thronged at other times by a busy, eager crowd, and over the quiet, closely – shut buildings, which throughout the day are swarming with life and bustle, that is very impressive.

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  • It was cut low over the bosom and the skirt was draped back over an enormous bustle and on the bustle was a huge bunch of pink velvet roses.

    Gone with the Wind

  • It was cut low over the bosom and the skirt was draped back over an enormous bustle and on the bustle was a huge bunch of pink velvet roses.

    Gone with the Wind

  • It was cut low over the bosom and the skirt was draped back over an enormous bustle and on the bustle was a huge bunch of pink velvet roses.

    Gone with the Wind

  • It was cut low over the bosom and the skirt was draped back over an enormous bustle and on the bustle was a huge bunch of pink velvet roses.

    Gone with the Wind

  • It was cut low over the bosom and the skirt was draped back over an enormous bustle and on the bustle was a huge bunch of pink velvet roses.

    Gone with the Wind

  • A later order was given to wear a camel-like "hump" at the base of the vertebral column, which was called the "bustle" -- a contrivance calculated to unnerve the wearer, not to speak of the looker-on; yet the American woman adopted it, distorted her body, and aped the gait of the kangaroo, the form being called the

    As A Chinaman Saw Us Passages from his Letters to a Friend at Home

Comments

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  • This bill might truly be called the epitome of an apothecary's conscience. Such being the case, we had a bustle about the payment. I pleaded for an abatement of one-half. He swore that he would not take a doit less than his just demand.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 7 ch. 16

    October 2, 2008