noun, often attributive
\ˈbəs \
plural buses also busses

Definition of bus 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a large motor vehicle designed to carry passengers usually along a fixed route according to a schedule took the bus to work double-decker buses waiting at the bus stop

b : automobile

2 : a small hand truck

3a electrical engineering : bus bar

b computers : a set of parallel conductors (see conductor sense d(1)) in a computer system that forms a main transmission path

4 : a spacecraft or missile that carries one or more detachable devices (such as warheads)

throw (someone) under the bus

: to criticize, blame, or punish (someone in a vulnerable position) especially in order to avoid blame or gain an advantage … we will not throw any student under the bus for instant restoration of our image or our reputation.— Donna Shalala But he went out of his way to make clear that this one wasn't really on him. The problem lay with underlings, whom he quickly threw under the bus.— Rem Rieder


bused also bussed; busing also bussing

Definition of bus (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to travel by a large motor vehicle designed to carry passengers usually along a fixed route according to a schedule : to travel by bus

2 : to work as a busboy

transitive verb

1 : to transport by bus busing kids to school Students were bused in for the game.

2a : clear sense 4d bus dishes

b : to remove dirty dishes from bus tables

Definition of bus (Entry 3 of 3)


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The History of Bus


For nearly three centuries, French mathematician Blaise Pascal was credited with building the first mechanical calculator. Then, in 1935, historian Franz Hammer discovered papers proving that German mathematician Wilhelm Schickard had beaten Pascal to it by 18 years. But in 1661 Pascal initiated a world first that has not been discredited: he conceived the world’s first bus service, proposing that a number of coaches should “circulate along predetermined routes in Paris at regular intervals regardless of the number of people,” and pick up passengers for a small fixed fare. The word bus is short for omnibus, which means “for everyone.” It was first used in this sense circa 1823, and referred to the fact that anyone could join the coach along its route, unlike stagecoaches, which had to be pre-booked.

Examples of bus in a Sentence


She boarded a bus in Nashville. Are you traveling by train or by bus?


He buses tables at the local diner.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Other activities include dinner served in an Amish home, dining at Miller's Smorgasbord, shopping at the Kitchen Kettle and a flea market and a bus tour of Amish country. Courant Community, "Community News For The East Hartford Edition," 10 July 2018 She was shown riding a bus along the Amalfi coast before catching the eye of a passing hunk in a convertible. The Economist, "What if AI made actors immortal?," 5 July 2018 According to Fox 6, Bruno received a video tip of Armoni getting on a Greyhound bus in Milwaukee en route to Chicago. Montana Couser, The Root, "‘I Believe If My Daughter Was a White Girl, They Would Have Taken All My Leads Seriously’: Mother of Missing 16-Year-Old," 5 July 2018 Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli has spoken out in defence of Lionel Messi, but thrown the rest of La Albiceleste's squad under the bus. SI.com, "Argentina Manager Throws 'Limited' Squad Under the Bus to Defend Lionel Messi Performance," 22 June 2018 In an understated effort in the struggling Auburn Gresham neighborhood, about 20 teenagers with the March for Our Lives movement began a 20-state summer bus tour, including a drive to register young voters and encourage them to go to the polls. Mark Guarino, BostonGlobe.com, "Students begin tour to address gun violence," 17 June 2018 The bus tour will include 50 stops in more than 20 states over the next two months. CBS News, "Parkland school shooting survivors begin nationwide tour in Chicago," 16 June 2018 And among the first and foremost to throw him under the bus was Attorney General Josh Hawley, the GOP’s putative nominee for the U.S. Senate. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Eric Greitens Avenge Himself on Missouri GOP by Running for the Senate As an Independent?," 15 June 2018 The candidate had voted that morning in Marin, said the campaign’s Nathan Click, then gone to Swan’s for the final stop in a seven-day bus tour that included 30 events in 23 cities. Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, "The winners and the sufferers, and the aftermath of election day," 10 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

March 1984 Parents of children bused to the townships win from Dillin the right to vote in suburban school board elections. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "50 years ago the Justice Dept. sued IPS to force desegregation," 31 May 2018 The attack appeared to break the will of Douma’s rebels, who agreed on Sunday to a deal with the government to hand the area over and be bused to another area outside government control in the country’s north. Ben Hubbard, New York Times, "Dozens Suffocate in Syria as Government Is Accused of Chemical Attack," 8 Apr. 2018 Uninjured middle school students were bused over to the high school, where they were held before being released to their families. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "School will resume on Tuesday for all Noblesville schools except at West Middle School," 26 May 2018 After the Indiana attack, students were bused to the Noblesville High School gym, where hundreds of parents and other family members arrived to retrieve them. Rick Callahan, BostonGlobe.com, "Teacher wounded tackling Indiana school shooter," 25 May 2018 During the fall semester, Robinson Elementary students were bused and split between Pleasantville Elementary and Holland Middle schools. Shelby Webb, Houston Chronicle, "Robinson Elementary, flooded during Harvey, reopens after renovations," 8 Jan. 2018 Students have been bused to Heights High School's gymnasium. Evan Macdonald, cleveland.com, "Heights Middle School evacuated due to bomb threat found in bathroom," 6 Dec. 2017 The shuttle busing on the High Speed Line will take place from 4:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Joseph A. Gambardello, Philly.com, "New SEPTA train schedules, shuttle busing on Norristown High Speed Line this weekend," 27 Apr. 2018 The plant held tours in late June in which curious residents were bused into the below-ground pit where asphalt is made and aggregates are mined. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Controversy in the air as Mesa homeowners decry neighboring asphalt plant’s odors," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bus


1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1909, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bus


short for omnibus


see bus entry 1

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Statistics for bus

Last Updated

24 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bus

The first known use of bus was in 1835

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More Definitions for bus



English Language Learners Definition of bus

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large vehicle that is used for carrying passengers especially along a particular route at particular times



English Language Learners Definition of bus (Entry 2 of 2)

: to transport (someone) in a bus

: to remove dirty dishes from (a table at a restaurant)

: to remove (something, such as dirty dishes)


\ˈbəs \
plural buses or busses

Kids Definition of bus

: a large motor vehicle for carrying passengers

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Comments on bus

What made you want to look up bus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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