noun, often attributive
\ˈbəs \
plural buses also busses

Definition of bus 

(Entry 1 of 4)

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 4)

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 4)


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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

Valid for a week, it can be used to save time spent on small payments and standing in lines, includes free inner-city bus and light-rail use, and offers discounts for main attractions throughout Israel's capital. Jewish Journal, "Visitor pass 'connects the dots' in the city of Jerusalem," 12 July 2018 On the ground, teams spend as much as $800 per day renting a coach bus to shuttle players back and forth from the hotel to practices and games. Jake Fischer, SI.com, "The Economics of a Las Vegas Summer League Invite," 12 July 2018 On July 1, White traveled by bus to the Kansas City area and went to the girl's mother's apartment in Lenexa. Tony Rizzo, kansascity, "Man charged with kidnapping in Amber Alert case involving 13-year-old Lenexa girl," 9 July 2018 Perez's two brothers had already made their way to Kentucky and so, with the services of a trafficker, Perez took buses through Mexico and walked across the Sonoran Desert. Nomaan Merchant, Cincinnati.com, "Hunger, fear, desperation: What came of an ordinary ICE raid in Covington," 9 July 2018 Some smugglers and vendors remain in business, though, and last year Indonesia’s marine police in Bali seized more than 1,540 pounds of turtle meat, including more than 400 pounds packed in ice and sent by bus from the nearby island of Lombok. New York Times, "Saving Turtles in Bali, Egg by Precious Egg," 7 July 2018 Canadian junior hockey teams typically travel to their games by bus, and the Humboldt Broncos weren’t the first team to be involved in a deadly collision. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Canadian Police Arrest Driver of Truck Involved in Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash," 6 July 2018 An Exmoor gate on Michigan Avenue in Highwood will serve as the main entrance for spectators and volunteers, who will be arriving by shuttle bus. Karen Berkowitz, chicagotribune.com, "Highwood traffic disruptions expected during Senior Players Championship at Exmoor Country Club," 3 July 2018 After two long weeks, traveling by bus from Guatemala, Erica Gomez Claudia and her 2-year-old daughter, Briani, made it to the DeConcini port of entry in Nogales. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Respite centers for migrants preparing for possibility of indefinite detention," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Ravenelle said that around a thousand students from Fitchburg Public Schools will be bused in to attend the event. Graham Ambrose, BostonGlobe.com, "In Fitchburg, a plane that’s not so simple," 11 June 2018 John Kostelnik, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3969, said the detainees from places like Central America and South Asia were bused in starting June 8. Dennis Romero /, NBC News, "ICE detainee in Southern California prison has chickenpox," 21 June 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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Phrases Related to bus

bus pass

bus stop

Statistics for bus

Last Updated

10 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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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