Definition of bushel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbo͝oSHəl/
(abbreviation bu.)


1US A measure of capacity equal to 64 US pints (equivalent to 35.2 liters), used for dry goods.
Example sentences
  • Agronomist Roger Elmore, Ph.D., and his colleagues calculated those losses equal to about 3 bushels per acre.
  • The 1798 daybook also shows that, as the old Dutch traditions faded, wheat was measured in bushels rather than schepels.
  • New acres coming into production equal more potential bushels, which equal more subsidy dollars.
1.1 informal A large amount: we sold it for a bushel of money
More example sentences
  • Despite this, scads of people make bushels of money every year by suing some company for something that was entirely their own damn fault.
  • They go screaming, casting bushels of needles in fear and despair.
  • As I took it through the first door to the back hallway, it grabbed onto the frame and wept a bushel of needles, but that was it.
2British A measure of capacity equal to 8 imperial gallons (equivalent to 36.4 liters), used for dry goods and liquids.
3A container with the capacity of a bushel: [as modifier]: packing oysters into bushel baskets
More example sentences
  • Haystacks, scarecrows, pumpkins, in all shapes and sizes, bushel baskets of gourds, apples, Indian apples, and squashes.
  • Then the apples were packaged into bushel baskets which Marc made.
  • Some years, this is so common that collectors easily fill bushel baskets with them in minutes.


hide one's light under a bushel

see hide1.



Pronunciation: /ˈbo͝oSHəlfo͝ol/
noun (plural bushelfuls)
Example sentences
  • And someone had tried the same thing with putting sand into bushelfuls of wheat just the previous autumn.
  • I'll remember Horace as a true original, unhybridized, a bushelful of contradictions: stubborn but sentimental, steely and twinkly, old-school formal but startlingly earthy.
  • Michelle has been known to eat fresh peas by the proverbial bushelful.


Middle English: from Old French boissel, perhaps of Gaulish origin.

  • If a bushel is a measure of capacity, how can you hide your light under a bushel? The answer is that the word here is used in an old sense, ‘a container used to measure out a bushel’. The origin of the phrase is biblical, from the Gospel of Matthew: ‘Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light to all that are in the house.’ The word entered English from French and may be Gaulish.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bush·el

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