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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English buxum, buhsum (bendsome, flexible, pliant, obedient), from Old English *būhsum (bendsome, pliant), a derivative of Old English būgan (to bend, bow), equivalent to bow +‎ -some. Cognate with Dutch buigzaam (flexible, pliant), German biegsam (flexible, pliant).


  • IPA(key): /ˈbʌksəm/
  • (file)


buxom (comparative buxomer or more buxom, superlative buxomest or most buxom)

  1. (of a woman) Having a full, voluptuous figure, especially possessing large breasts.
    • 2003, "Milestones," Time, 23 Jul.,
      DIED. Robert Brooks, 69, canny businessman who, as chairman of Hooters, turned the bar-restaurant chain, famed for buxom waitresses in orange hot pants, into an international success.
  2. (dated, of a woman) Healthy, lively.
    • 1896, Thomas Hardy, A Group of Noble Dames, "Dame the Eighth: The Lady Penelope,"
      So heated and impassioned, indeed, would they become, that the lady hardly felt herself safe in their company at such times, notwithstanding that she was a brave and buxom damsel, not easily put out, and with a daring spirit of humour in her composition.
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, “26”, in Babbitt:
      He had not seen Zilla since Paul had shot her, and he still pictured her as buxom, high-colored, lively, and a little blowsy.
  3. (dated, of a man or woman) Cheerful, lively, happy.
    • 1932, John Buchan, chapter IV, in The Gap in the Curtain:
      Claypole, the buxom novelist,...[his] bubbling utterances....
  4. (obsolete) Flexible, pliant.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.8:
      They downe him hold, and fast with cords do bynde, / Till they him force the buxome yoke to beare […].


Derived terms[edit]


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