1

busy

adjective \ ˈbi-zē \

Definition of busy

busier; busiest
1 a :engaged in action :occupied
  • She's busy studying.
  • has enough work to keep him busy for a while
b :being in use
  • found the telephone busy
2 :full of activity :bustling
  • a busy seaport
3 :foolishly or intrusively active :meddling
  • a busy, fussy sort of man much concerned with regulating everything
  • —A. M. Young
4 :full of distracting detail
  • a busy design

busily

play \ˈbi-zə-lē\ adverb

busyness

play \ˈbi-zē-nəs\ noun

Examples of busy in a Sentence

  1. She's busy preparing for her test.

  2. Are you busy? Can I talk to you for a minute?

  3. I will be busy cleaning the house.

  4. I'm sorry I haven't called. I've been so busy.

  5. busy people who don't have time to cook

  6. I got enough work to keep me busy for a while.

  7. He is a very busy person.

  8. He's been busy in the kitchen all afternoon.

  9. My week has been so busy!

  10. Is there any time in your busy schedule for us to have lunch next week?

Recent Examples of busy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'busy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of busy

Middle English bisy, from Old English bisig; akin to Middle Dutch & Middle Low German besich busy

Synonym Discussion of busy

busy, industrious, diligent, assiduous, sedulous mean actively engaged or occupied. busy chiefly stresses activity as opposed to idleness or leisure.
    • too busy to spend time with the children
industrious implies characteristic or habitual devotion to work.
    • industrious employees
diligent suggests earnest application to some specific object or pursuit.
    • very diligent in her pursuit of a degree
assiduous stresses careful and unremitting application.
    • assiduous practice
sedulous implies painstaking and persevering application.
    • a sedulous investigation of the murder

2

busy

verb

Definition of busy

busied; busying
transitive verb
:to make engaged in action :to make busy (see 1busy 1a) :occupy
  • busied herself about the room
intransitive verb
:bustle
  • small boats busied to and fro
  • —Quentin Crewe

Examples of busy in a Sentence

  1. the video game busied the child for hours

Recent Examples of busy from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'busy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of busy

see 1busy



BUSY Defined for English Language Learners

busy

adjective

Definition of busy for English Language Learners

  • : actively doing something

  • : full of activity or work

  • : full of people or things


BUSY Defined for Kids

1

busy

adjective \ ˈbi-zē \

Definition of busy for Students

busier; busiest
1 :actively at work
2 :being used
  • I tried to call, but the line was busy.
3 :full of activity
  • a busy day

busily

\ˈbi-zə-lē\ adverb

2

busy

verb

Definition of busy for Students

busied; busying
:to make busy
  • I busied myself with chores.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up busy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to conform or adhere

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!