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
busyness \ ˈbi-​zē-​nəs How to pronounce busyness (audio) \ noun

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

Wolfe has been busy testing more than 80 recipes for launch, with the aim of starting with eight full-time beers, and room on the 20-tap menu for a steady stream of rotating smaller batches. Maggie Gordon, Houston Chronicle, "Another new brewery on tap to open in Near Northside," 10 June 2019 Many of them pay regular visits to Santa Catalina Island, car-free but busy, about 90 miles southeast. Christopher Reynolds, latimes.com, "On Santa Cruz, California’s largest island, foxes play and a traffic jam is 6 kayaks," 9 June 2019 Getty Images The royal family is very, very busy these days. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Why Prince Philip Isn't at Trooping the Colour 2019," 8 June 2019 Dunes Village Resort has plenty to keep you busy, both outdoors and inside, including a wide stretch of beach and a 30,000-square-foot indoor waterpark. Jennifer Franklin, USA TODAY, "8 Myrtle Beach activities that your family (and wallet) will love," 7 June 2019 McCullough Field at 8th Street in Laurel will be busy on Saturday, June 8. Christina Hyder, baltimoresun.com, "Renovations almost complete at Carroll Baldwin Hall," 7 June 2019 Dog-friendly patios Note: Dog-friendly dining is outdoors and can depend on several factors, including the weather, how busy the restaurant is and who is working. Dallas News, "Dog About Town: Parties in the park and on the patio and more things to do," 7 June 2019 Reuters Huawei Russia Huawei may be shunned in the West, but Russia and China are busy falling into each other’s arms right now, and the telecoms giant just scored a contract to develop 5G networks for the Russian operator MTS. Alan Murray, Fortune, "So Much for Fiat Chrysler and Renault: CEO Daily," 6 June 2019 According to manager Sean Greenly, Father's Day weekend is typically busy. Adriana Ramirez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "You don't need gifts to bond with your dad on Fathers Day. Try these suburban Milwaukee activities instead.," 5 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Whereas Mary sits at Jesus' feet, Martha busies herself with preparing dinner. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "The Handmaid's Tale," 6 June 2019 Brian Cox plays Logan Roy, the aging tycoon, whose children and other relatives busy themselves ensuring their future entitlements. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "The Best TV of 2018: Departures and Arrivals," 17 Dec. 2018 Before setting to work on ensuring that their comrade can keep his Senate seat, New Jersey’s Democrats recently busied themselves constructing a budget deal featuring raises on both personal and corporate income. James Freeman, WSJ, "Serving Spartacus," 24 Oct. 2018 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 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 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 Off the field, Winston has busied himself with both his own charitable work and that of the team’s foundation. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Because of his past, Jameis Winston can’t afford more transgressions," 22 June 2018 The first half of the movie busies itself with saving him. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Sense8 Series Finale Recap: Farewell, International Orgies!," 8 June 2018

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

14 Jun 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

Comments on busy

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