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 To help keep the cost down, here are five things to do in Tromsø that are free, with only the relatively low cost of a local bus ticket required in some cases. David Nikel, Forbes, 8 May 2022 As if the season hadn’t already been a uphill climb, the team’s bus broke down in Healy on the trip to Anchorage on Thursday evening, leaving them with a five-hour delay. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, 8 May 2022 Transfer Portal has nothing to do with getting on another bus. Nick Canepacolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 May 2022 One bus was from Ogledar, where Russian forces had advanced in recent days amid heavy fighting. Washington Post, 7 May 2022 Womack, who represents Arkansas' Third Congressional District, said Brooks threw his Republican colleagues under the bus. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, 7 May 2022 While stopped on Lake Road near Forestview Road, with flashers on and a stop sign deployed, a driver went past her bus. cleveland, 6 May 2022 In other words, microtransit is meant to complement traditional public transportation by helping people get to and from bus and train stops. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 May 2022 Later Friday, Russian state newswire RIA Novosti reported that a bus carrying 12 civilians, including four children, had left the Azovstal plant. James Marson, WSJ, 6 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 And would bus lanes replacing on-street parking from Bowdoin to Charles Circle on Cambridge Street be more effective? BostonGlobe.com, 5 Nov. 2021 And after years of having to bus students at least 10 miles north to Yuma, Somerton finally met the threshold for its own high school. Astrid Galvan And Mike Schneider, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Aug. 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

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bus. Accessed 21 May. 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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