bus

noun, often attributive
\ ˈbəs How to pronounce bus (audio) \
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
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
informal
: 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

bus

verb
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)

business

Keep scrolling for more

The History of Bus

Noun

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

Noun

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

Verb

He buses tables at the local diner.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the past, the park has offered tickets, tours and shuttle-bus services to the two-week performance, but years of selling out have made them introduce a lottery system. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Fireflies Are Bringing A Rare Light Show To The Mountains This Month," 10 May 2019 That means families who have no knowledge of the US might be getting dumped en masse at bus stations in the middle of winter, many without winter clothing and all without guidance about what to do next. Dara Lind, Vox, "Trump administration to release hundreds of immigrant families from detention," 27 Dec. 2018 Torres – who’s says he's been plagued with two strokes in recent years – said he's also taken to resting at bus stations and residing in motels. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Man seen shaving on train says he lived in homeless shelter, wanted to look 'presentable'," 18 Sep. 2018 That money could then be used to improve subway and bus service, which could attract riders back to transit and create a better balance in the city. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber and Lyft are facing a major crackdown in New York City," 27 July 2018 Moments after being dropped off, Antonio Gonzalez sat in the bus station's waiting area while Francisco climbed on the chair next to him, and admired his good fortune. Pamela Ren Larson, azcentral, "Trump administration issues new asylum rules aimed at families arriving at border," 13 July 2018 Task force officers, and special agents with the Department of Homeland Security, arrested Peters at a local Greyhound bus station. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "Mom offered sex with 2-year-old daughter for $1,200. She was talking to a Texas cop," 12 July 2018 The Chamber is also recommending the district outsource services like nursing and tech support and suspend bus services for high school students in favor of utilizing the city's public transit system. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Chamber calls for nearly $500M in IPS cuts in exchange for support of $100M tax hike," 11 July 2018 White and the girl were seen together on bus station surveillance video. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "Man charged with kidnapping in Amber Alert case involving 13-year-old Lenexa girl," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Take ’80s model star Carol Alt, who bused tables before a breakup prompted a career change, or Halima Aden who was reluctant to give up steady work in housekeeping back home in Minnesota even after booking an international Vogue cover. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "What It’s Really Like to Break Into the Modeling World," 9 Apr. 2019 Students were being bused late Tuesday morning to nearby North Marshall Middle School, where parents could pick them up, the Marshall County Tribune-Courier reports. CBS News, "Kentucky shooting witnesses describe chaos at Marshall County High School," 23 Jan. 2018 Protesters are typically bused in to attend the rallies and given preprinted placards, with balloons for kids and T-shirts bearing the likeness of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei adding to a festival-like atmosphere. Ramin Mostaghim, latimes.com, "In 'Jerusalem Day' protest, Iranians burn effigy of President Trump dressed in an Israeli flag," 8 June 2018 But violence has reached record levels in Mexico, and the border states are particularly dangerous, which could put migrants at risk if U.S. authorities began busing Central Americans back into Mexico. Joshua Partlow, Washington Post, "U.S. and Mexico discussing a deal that could slash migration at the border," 10 July 2018 In earlier years, individuals caught crossing illegally were often simply bused back over the border without charges, especially people from Mexico without criminal records or previous immigration violations. Jazmine Ulloa, latimes.com, "Family separations at the border: How did we get here?," 19 June 2018 The students are being bused to Noblesville High School. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Noblesville middle school shooting: 1 injured, shooter in custody," 25 May 2018 Last time, the jury was drawn from Pittsburgh and bused here after Mr. Cosby said he was worried that potential jurors in Montgomery County had been affected by pretrial publicity. Graham Bowley, New York Times, "Potential Cosby Jurors Are Asked About #MeToo Bias," 2 Apr. 2018 In Kudrovo in the Leningradsky region outside St. Petersburg, observer Sergei Dzhus discovered people apparently bused in to a traditionally low-turnout area to boost participation. Francesca Ebel, Fox News, "Russian vote problems: Ballot stuffing, coercion, gimmicks," 18 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of bus

Noun

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1909, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bus

Noun and Verb

short for omnibus

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bus

bus

noun

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

bus

verb

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)

bus

noun
\ ˈbəs How to pronounce bus (audio) \
plural buses or busses

Kids Definition of bus

: a large motor vehicle for carrying passengers

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bus

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bus

Spanish Central: Translation of bus

Nglish: Translation of bus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bus

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a tendency to relapse

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!