bus·​tle | \ ˈbə-səl How to pronounce bustle (audio) \
bustled; bustling\ ˈbəs-​liŋ How to pronounce bustling (audio) , ˈbə-​sə-​ \

Definition of bustle

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to move briskly and often ostentatiously bustled around the kitchen
2 : to be busily astir : teem The house was bustling with activity.


noun (1)

Definition of bustle (Entry 2 of 3)

: noisy, energetic, and often obtrusive activity the hustle and bustle of the big city


noun (2)

Definition of bustle (Entry 3 of 3)

clothing : a pad or framework expanding and supporting the fullness and drapery of the back of a woman's skirt or dress the bustle of a nineteenth century wedding gown also : the drapery so supported

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Examples of bustle in a Sentence

Verb She bustled around the kitchen getting ready for dinner guests. on Saturdays the city's downtown bustles with activity as a farmers' market sets up shop

First Known Use of bustle


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1637, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1782, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bustle

Verb and Noun (1)

probably alteration of obsolete buskle to prepare, frequentative of busk, from Old Norse būask to prepare oneself

Noun (2)

origin unknown

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Time Traveler for bustle

Time Traveler

The first known use of bustle was in 1548

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Statistics for bustle

Cite this Entry

“Bustle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bustle. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for bustle


How to pronounce bustle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bustle

: to move or go in a busy or hurried way
: to have a lot of busy activity


bus·​tle | \ ˈbə-səl How to pronounce bustle (audio) \
bustled; bustling

Kids Definition of bustle

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move about in a busy or noisy way



Kids Definition of bustle (Entry 2 of 2)

: busy or noisy activity

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