busy

adjective
\ ˈbi-zē How to pronounce busy (audio) \
busier; busiest

Definition of busy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : engaged in action : occupied She's busy studying. has enough work to keep him busy for a while
b : being in use found the telephone busy
2 : full of activity : bustling a busy seaport
3 : foolishly or intrusively active : meddling a busy, fussy sort of man much concerned with regulating everything— A. M. Young
4 : full of distracting detail a busy design

busy

verb
busied; busying

Definition of busy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make engaged in action : to make busy (see busy entry 1 sense 1a) : occupy busied herself about the room

intransitive verb

: bustle small boats busied to and fro— Quentin Crewe

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Other Words from busy

Adjective

busily \ ˈbi-​zə-​lē How to pronounce busy (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for busy

Adjective

busy, industrious, diligent, assiduous, sedulous mean actively engaged or occupied. busy chiefly stresses activity as opposed to idleness or leisure. too busy to spend time with the children industrious implies characteristic or habitual devotion to work. industrious employees diligent suggests earnest application to some specific object or pursuit. very diligent in her pursuit of a degree assiduous stresses careful and unremitting application. assiduous practice sedulous implies painstaking and persevering application. a sedulous investigation of the murder

Examples of busy in a Sentence

Adjective She's busy preparing for her test. Are you busy? Can I talk to you for a minute? I will be busy cleaning the house. I'm sorry I haven't called. I've been so busy. busy people who don't have time to cook I got enough work to keep me busy for a while. He is a very busy person. He's been busy in the kitchen all afternoon. My week has been so busy! Is there any time in your busy schedule for us to have lunch next week? Verb the video game busied the child for hours
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Those meetings aren’t possible before an appeals court is set to hear arguments in the case Aug. 4 because people in the community will be busy with the subsistence fishing season, Gray said. Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, 21 July 2021 Exempted from the emergency state mandate, 24/7-open convenience stores were busy with shoppers. Kantaro Komiya, ajc, 21 July 2021 The blast occurred a day before the Eid al-Adha holiday when the market was busy with shoppers looking for gifts and groceries. NBC News, 19 July 2021 The company said the plant remains busy with production of SUVs, such as the midsize Atlas, and will begin making electric cars. Mike Colias, WSJ, 19 July 2021 Restaurants have remained open, beaches busy, masks rare. Washington Post, 15 July 2021 Lloyd Webber remains an extraordinarily busy — or driven — man. New York Times, 12 July 2021 Probably too busy investing millions into a show no one will watch. Andy Meek, BGR, 8 July 2021 Lucas is game, but his costar has a really, really, really busy schedule. Jolie Lash, EW.com, 7 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One fear is that those who have the resources to help effect action on climate change will instead busy themselves with building their own escape pods. Amy Davidson Sorki, The New Yorker, 18 July 2021 To busy his hands and mind through it all, West started tinkering in his yard again under the oaks. Marisa Spyker, Southern Living, 18 June 2021 During the summer of 2020, at-home tie dye kits sold like hotcakes as people looked to busy themselves during lockdown. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 13 May 2021 To that end, Neil will busy himself with trying to win over his No. 1 critic, who happens to be passionate no-nonsense Deputy Mayor Arpi, played by Holly Hunter, and attempting to bond with his highly capable teenage daughter, Orly (Kyla Kenedy). Dan Snierson, EW.com, 20 Nov. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic is boosting e-commerce as homebound consumers order more products online and busy themselves with do-it-yourself projects during quarantine lockdowns. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2020 Guests can busy themselves with everything from ice fishing to cooking and baking classes. Sara Clemence, Travel + Leisure, 8 July 2020 This fall, lawmakers’ budget staff members will busy themselves with preparations for next year’s session, when the next two-year budget will be written. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, 2 July 2020 Residents busied themselves with home repairs and thoughts of the future. Darcie Moran, Detroit Free Press, 28 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'busy.' 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 busy

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for busy

Adjective and Verb

Middle English bisy, from Old English bisig; akin to Middle Dutch & Middle Low German besich busy

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Time Traveler for busy

Time Traveler

The first known use of busy was before the 12th century

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Statistics for busy

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Busy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/busy. Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for busy

busy

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of busy

: actively doing something
: full of activity or work
: full of people or things

busy

adjective
\ ˈbi-zē How to pronounce busy (audio) \
busier; busiest

Kids Definition of busy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : actively at work
2 : being used I tried to call, but the line was busy.
3 : full of activity a busy day

Other Words from busy

busily \ ˈbi-​zə-​lē \ adverb

busy

verb
busied; busying

Kids Definition of busy (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make busy I busied myself with chores.

More from Merriam-Webster on busy

Nglish: Translation of busy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of busy for Arabic Speakers

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