Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



From Middle English busi, besy, bisi, from Old English bysiġ, *biesiġ, bisiġ ‎(busy, occupied, diligent), from Proto-Germanic *bisigaz ‎(diligent; zealous; busy). Cognate with Saterland Frisian biesich ‎(active, diligent, hard-working, industrious), Dutch bezig ‎(busy), Low German besig ‎(busy), Old Frisian bisgia ‎(to use), Old English bisgian ‎(to occupy, employ, trouble, afflict). The spelling with ⟨u⟩ represents the pronunciation of the West Midland and Southern dialects while the Modern English pronunciation with /ɪ/ is from the dialects of the East Midlands.[1]



busy ‎(comparative busier, superlative busiest)

  1. Crowded with business or activities; having a great deal going on.
    a busy street
    • Shakespeare
      To-morrow is a busy day.
  2. Engaged in another activity or by someone else.
    The director cannot see you now, he's busy.
    Her telephone has been busy all day.
    She is too busy to have time for riddles.
  3. Having a lot going on; complicated or intricate.
    Flowers, stripes, and checks in the same fabric make for a busy pattern.
  4. Officious; meddling.

Related terms[edit]



busy ‎(third-person singular simple present busies, present participle busying, simple past and past participle busied)

  1. (transitive) To make somebody busy, to keep busy with, to occupy, to make occupied.
    • On my vacation I'll busy myself with gardening.
  2. (transitive) To rush somebody.



busy ‎(plural busies)

  1. (slang, Britain, Liverpudlian, derogatory) A police officer.



  1. ^ Upward, Christopher & George Davidson. 2011. The History of English Spelling. Wiley-Blackwell.