like gangbusters

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the American true crime radio drama Gang Busters (1936–1957), which opened abruptly with loud sound effects of police sirens, machine guns, etc.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Prepositional phrase[edit]

like gangbusters

  1. (simile, colloquial, originally US) Vigorously, rapidly, zealously, or forcibly; in a manner which has considerable impact.
    • 1954 December 9, Hedda Hopper, “Chandler, Baxter 'Spoilers' Costars”, in Los Angeles Times, page B12:
      "Put an actress in knock-out clothes and she'll come through like gangbusters."
    • 2021 July 14, Paul Lilly, “Chromebooks are selling like gangbusters, but the party could be coming to an end”, in PC Gamer[1]:
      Chromebooks are selling like gangbusters, but the party could be coming to an end [title]
    • 2022 January 7, Richard Lawson, “The Best-Picture Race: Sure Things, Crowd-Pleasers, and the Late-Breaking Potential Upsets”, in Vanity Fair[2]:
      Wearing its politics heavier on its sleeve is Being the Ricardos, a late-breaking Amazon Studios film from Aaron Sorkin that played like gangbusters at industry screenings in New York and Los Angeles.