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
: 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)


The History of Bus


In 1661, mathematician Blaise Pascal 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.” Bus was first used in this sense in the 1830s, its "everyone" meaning referencing the fact that anyone could join the coach along its route, unlike with 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Three individuals approached a 57-year-old woman on the bus and hit her with an unknown object, leaving her with a laceration and bleeding, police said. Marlene Lenthang, NBC News, 27 July 2022 After spending a few minutes playing with the family's new puppy, David jumped on the bus and headed off to school. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, 22 July 2022 All injuries were sustained by people who were on the bus at the time of the crash. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, 21 July 2022 Investigators found that Swires, who was hired in 2015, had at least 10 alcoholic drinks before the crash and drove away from the crash without reporting it or checking on the wellbeing of the occupants of the bus, according to city records. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, 19 July 2022 No passengers were on the bus at the time of the crash. Adam Sennott, BostonGlobe.com, 17 July 2022 Then my sister and I packed our bags and got back on the bus together, before parting ways to stay with different friends. Helen Longstreth, The New Yorker, 17 July 2022 The early action is set in a fogbound storybook London, where Mrs. Harris shuffles off to work every morning on the bus in the predawn hours with her best friend and neighbor, Vi (Ellen Thomas). David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 July 2022 Opt for front-facing seats on the bus or train, window seats near the front on an airplane and lower levels on a boat. Hannah Jeon, Good Housekeeping, 10 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Washington:Members of the DC Council are calling on Mayor Muriel Bowser to act as Arizona and Texas officials continue to bus hundreds of migrants to Union Station, WUSA-TV reported. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 18 July 2022 The Jewish Agency, an organization which runs the hotline and that helps Jews immigrate to Israel, has been helping to bus Jews in Ukraine to hotels in Poland, Moldova, Hungary and Romania. Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2022 Texas Republicans, Democrats call out Gov. Abbott's plan to bus migrants to D.C. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 14 Apr. 2022 That left enough time to head to the hotel for a quick meal and then bus to the Kohl Center. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5 Feb. 2022 Brey has remained one of Blakeney’s close friends and agreed to bus his team 4-plus hours north after a Saturday game at Virginia Tech to play Howard. Stephen Borelli, USA TODAY, 11 Feb. 2022 The other six women head off for the ceremony, and send the shuttle bus back to pick up Mary. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Jan. 2022 Brandon can’t remain a head coach driving the team bus down this road and stopping to throw his players under it. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Jan. 2022 In all, more than 109 million people will drive, fly or bus out of town. Taylor Pettaway, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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

Noun and Verb

short for omnibus

Learn More About bus

Dictionary Entries Near bus

Bury Saint Edmunds



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Statistics for bus

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bus. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for bus


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

Kids Definition of bus

: a large motor vehicle for carrying passengers

More from Merriam-Webster on bus

Nglish: Translation of bus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bus for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about bus


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