1 of 3


plural buses also busses
often attributive
: 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
: a small hand truck
electrical engineering : bus bar
computers : a set of parallel conductors (see conductor sense d(1)) in a computer system that forms a main transmission path
: a spacecraft or missile that carries one or more detachable devices (such as warheads)


2 of 3


bused also bussed; busing also bussing

intransitive verb

: to travel by a large motor vehicle designed to carry passengers usually along a fixed route according to a schedule : to travel by bus
: to work as a busboy

transitive verb

: to transport by bus
busing kids to school
Students were bused in for the game.
: clear sense 4d
bus dishes
: to remove dirty dishes from
bus tables


3 of 3


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

Did you know?

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
The bus was headed to a music event for band camp, a spokesperson from the high school confirmed to CNN. Rob Frehse, CNN, 21 Sep. 2023 The city’s task force and the mayor’s office did have a meeting with our union reps—closed door, next year’s contract negotiations looming like a winter weather system—and suddenly we were briefed and on the bus and then the hill. Hazlitt, 20 Sep. 2023 Most recently, the PAC announced a bus tour across Virginia with the governor. Julia Johnson, Washington Examiner, 18 Sep. 2023 Local community colleges and Pace Suburban Bus service are teaming up to offer students and others who qualify free training for a bus driving career. Janice Neumann, Chicago Tribune, 18 Sep. 2023 The free rides, offered in celebration of World Car Free Day, will include local buses, the light rail, the metro subway, MARC trains, commuter buses and mobility services. Tony Roberts, Baltimore Sun, 18 Sep. 2023 The bus was eventually swapped for one without seat belts. Hannah Drown, cleveland, 16 Sep. 2023 That afternoon, agents moved several buses of migrants to Border Patrol stations for processing. Kate Morrissey, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2023 Gorham Moose Tours offers three- to four-hour small bus tours to see moose and other wildlife. Pamela Wright, BostonGlobe.com, 15 Sep. 2023
Change the clothes and hairdos and these ladies could look like the conservative white women who opposed busing in 1970s Boston, supported McCarty anti-communism or blocked integration in Southern schools. Shauna Shames, The Conversation, 19 Sep. 2023 With border areas in Texas and Arizona receiving much higher numbers of migrants, Border Patrol officials have been flying and busing new arrivals to San Diego for processing. Kate Morrissey, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2023 The agency was screening migrants at either the agency’s soft-sided facility at Brown Field or other stations — a process that includes giving them notices to appear in immigration court — before busing many of them to transit centers across the county. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Sep. 2023 But then Republicans started busing migrants from border states to New York City. Nr Editors, National Review, 14 Sep. 2023 The biggest obstacle to Harris’s selection was probably her brass-knuckles attack on Biden’s 1970s record on busing during the first Democratic debate. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 11 Sep. 2023 Yet while thousands of beggars and homeless people are removed from Delhi’s streets and forcibly bused to the city limits, where they are dumped, hundreds of thousands more are added amid a spate of demolitions. Srishti Jaswal, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Sep. 2023 Shaker Heights voluntarily started busing students to promote racial balance long before the courts began to mandate it. Deirdre Mask, Washington Post, 6 Sep. 2023 Today, there are around 48,000 students in the Boston public school system — a drastic reduction from the height of the busing crisis. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

short for omnibus

First Known Use


1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1909, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bus was in 1835

Dictionary Entries Near bus

Cite this Entry

“Bus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bus. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
plural buses also busses
: a large motor vehicle for carrying passengers
: a conductor or group of conductors for collecting electric currents and sending them to outgoing wires


2 of 2 verb
bused also bussed; busing also bussing
: to travel or transport by bus

More from Merriam-Webster on bus

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