busy

adjective
\ ˈbi-zē How to pronounce busy (audio) \
busier; busiest

Definition of busy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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

busy

verb
busied; busying

Definition of busy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make engaged in action : to make busy (see busy entry 1 sense 1a) : occupy busied herself about the room

intransitive verb

: bustle small boats busied to and fro— Quentin Crewe

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Other Words from busy

Adjective

busily \ ˈbi-​zə-​lē How to pronounce busily (audio) \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for busy

Adjective

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

Examples of busy in a Sentence

Adjective

She's busy preparing for her test. Are you busy? Can I talk to you for a minute? I will be busy cleaning the house. I'm sorry I haven't called. I've been so busy. busy people who don't have time to cook I got enough work to keep me busy for a while. He is a very busy person. He's been busy in the kitchen all afternoon. My week has been so busy! Is there any time in your busy schedule for us to have lunch next week?

Verb

the video game busied the child for hours
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Roger Sanguinetti was unfortunately busy, punting nine times. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Cinco Ranch football hits the road for non-district finale against Cedar Park," 17 Sep. 2019 The harvest moon’s name was coined by farmers who gathered crops under the moonlight during busy fall harvest seasons, Petro said. BostonGlobe.com, "A rare harvest moon will dazzle the night sky on Friday the 13th, NASA said.," 13 Sep. 2019 While residents of Rachel have been busy securing their own properties, Arnu says that on Sunday, less than two weeks from the big day, there were no stages built for Alienstock and there appeared to be little preparation underway. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "'We Are Breathing a Sigh of Relief.' Here's Why 'Alienstock' As We Know It Will No Longer Be Held Near Area 51," 13 Sep. 2019 Members of the Swim Fort Lauderdale Masters Team can chalk off a busy season of competition in the pool and open water established by Masters head coach Marty Hendricks whose skills as a travel agent were put to the test. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "Swim Fort Lauderdale Masters Team enjoys whirlwind competitive summer," 12 Sep. 2019 The feds have been busy exposing bribery at the UAW in a case that has rumbled on for years. The Economist, "Beleaguered unions seek members beyond the factory floor," 12 Sep. 2019 And the company said the openings are not related to the usual increase in hiring it does to prepare for the busy holiday shopping season. CBS News, "Amazon to hire 30,000 workers at job fairs in 6 cities on September 17," 10 Sep. 2019 The strike is the company’s first involving pilots since the 1970s and threatens the travel plans of customers at the tail end of the busy summer season. Siddharth Philip, Fortune, "‘We Had No Option.’ British Airways Cancels Almost 100% of Flights in Face of First-Ever Pilots Strike," 9 Sep. 2019 And the hiring spree is not related to the usual increase in hiring it does to prepare for the busy holiday shopping season. Joseph Pisani, chicagotribune.com, "Amazon Career Day: Job fairs in Chicago, 5 other cities as online giant seeks to hire 30,000 nationwide," 9 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Sheldon Neuse, in for Matt Chapman at third, made an error on a potential double play that busied the bases for Santana’s home run. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Athletics outslug Rangers in Khris Davis multi-homer game," 13 Sep. 2019 On a recent afternoon, Cristina Flores busied herself in the kitchen making quesadillas and reheating rice for lunch. Brittny Mejia, latimes.com, "Deported airman’s mother inspires bill to protect ‘patriot parents’," 11 July 2019 On the coast, a textured wall adds depth and charm without busying things up. Heidi Mitchell, House Beautiful, "This Lake Michigan House Was Built With Summertime In Mind," 16 Aug. 2018 But astronomers are now busying themselves preparing for the next visitor. Nola Taylor Redd, Scientific American, "Interstellar Mystery Object Now Thought to Be a Comet," 27 June 2018 Although a psychiatrist once prescribed her antianxiety and antidepressant medications, Melanie's trying to talk to her counselor, busy herself with projects, and see friends and family more before going down that road. Zahra Barnes, SELF, "What It's Like to Live With PTSD After Escaping Domestic Violence," 19 Apr. 2018 Since the split, Caputo has busied herself with the new Long Island Medium episodes, which will feature celebrities like Melissa Etheridge, Robert Patrick, Jillian Michaels, and Tituss Burgess. Rose Minutaglio, Good Housekeeping, ""Long Island Medium" Theresa Caputo on Life After Her Split From Larry," 5 Apr. 2018 While waiting for more games, more than 9 million Switch owners worldwide may still be busying themselves with Super Mario Odyssey, according to Nintendo's 2017 game sales figures. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Nintendo Switch has already outsold the entire Wii U run," 31 Jan. 2018 Your comrades standing around watching the show slowly find other tasks with which to busy themselves, not wanting to stare. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Year of the Tractor," 7 May 2016

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.

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First Known Use of busy

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for busy

Adjective and Verb

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

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Learn More about busy

Dictionary Entries near busy

busty

busulfan

busway

busy

busy as a bee

busy bee

busybody

Statistics for busy

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for busy

The first known use of busy was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for busy

busy

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of busy

: actively doing something
: full of activity or work
: full of people or things

busy

adjective
\ ˈbi-zē How to pronounce busy (audio) \
busier; busiest

Kids Definition of busy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from busy

busily \ ˈbi-​zə-​lē \ adverb

busy

verb
busied; busying

Kids Definition of busy (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make busy I busied myself with chores.

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More from Merriam-Webster on busy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with busy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for busy

Spanish Central: Translation of busy

Nglish: Translation of busy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of busy for Arabic Speakers

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