bust up

1 of 2

phrasal verb

busted up also bust up; busting up; busts up
: to end a relationship with someone
Their marriage busted up after three years.
Didn't you hear? They busted up.
: to cause (something) to end
His gambling problem busted up their marriage.
The police busted the party up.


2 of 2


: the end of a relationship, marriage, etc. : breakup
the bust-up of their marriage
British : a very bad argument or disagreement : quarrel or fight
They had a bust-up over money.

Examples of bust up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Phrasal verb
In Beverly Hills, the roots of one uprooted tree actually busted up the concrete sidewalk, the result, a DTE official suggested, of powerful straight-line winds, which, by some measures, can be almost as damaging as a weak tornado. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 20 June 2024 Register to vote and raise your voice and ballot in November, and use it as a hammer to bust up what’s wrong. Sierra Lopez, The Mercury News, 17 June 2024 The burglar, seen on videotape from the restaurant’s security cameras, stole electronics and busted up the place. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 South Korean pop culture is rife with sinister stories of systemic breakdown and authority not to be trusted, from Netflix’s runaway hit Squid Game to the more recent Paramount+ series Bargain, which involves an organ harvesting/prostitution ring busted up by a cataclysmic earthquake. Chris Vognar, Rolling Stone, 17 Oct. 2023 The larger goal is to bust up the higher-education cartel and apply lessons learned in the K–12 education-reform movement to the universities. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 13 Oct. 2023 After picking up a sack on a corner blitz and adroitly busting up a fourth-down pass to give the Patriots some fleeting hope in the opening-week loss to the Eagles. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2023 History wasn’t lost on Southfield resident Tom Tucker, who lived in Royal Oak in the early ‘70s and recalls when police focused big resources on busting up pot parties in nearby Memorial Park. Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press, 1 Sep. 2023 Both of them paused, looked at each and then busted up laughing. Nate Jackson, Los Angeles Times, 16 Aug. 2023
When those expectations are dashed, a bust-up is likelier to follow. Jeffrey Kluger, TIME, 24 May 2024 This week, Wells shares his thoughts via email on Brayden and Kat's bust-up, Sam's toilet trouble, and more. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, 13 Oct. 2023 The release of the princess’s book, with all its ancillary noise, following so hard on the very public bust-up with Barney Rosset, was hardly the auspicious start George had hoped for. Thomas Harding, Town & Country, 29 Aug. 2023 When Succession directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini filmed that awful argument between Sarah Snook's Shiv and Matthew Macfadyen's Tom on Sunday's episode, the pair did not fully understand the level of awfulness the bust-up would feature when the show screened. Clark Collis, EW.com, 9 May 2023

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

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Cite this Entry

“Bust up.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bust%20up. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

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