Definition of busy in English:

busy

Line breaks: busy
Pronunciation: /ˈbɪzi
 
/

adjective (busier, busiest)

1Having a great deal to do: he had been too busy to enjoy himself
More example sentences
  • The Prime Minister is indeed a very busy man, negotiating deals on behalf of Australia and the Australian people.
  • Bunclody fire service is being kept very busy at the moment dealing with chimney fires, but no tragedies have taken place.
  • They were obviously too busy to deal with their numerous, silly questions.
1.1Occupied with or concentrating on a particular activity or object of attention: the team members are busy raising money
More example sentences
  • The company is also busy hammering out deals with content producers.
  • The corporate wing of the Democratic Party is busy brokering a back-room deal.
  • They are too busy negotiating film deals in Hollywood and consulting on theatrical adaptations.
1.2(Of a time or place) full of activity: the busy city streets I’ve had a busy day
More example sentences
  • As it was, the explosion was centered in a very busy marketplace full of book sellers and street merchants.
  • We live in a busy world full of fear and isolation.
  • He bowed, took a step, and vanished into a busy street full of pedestrians.
Synonyms
strenuous, hectic, energetic, active, lively, exacting, tiring, full, eventful
informal buzzy
1.3chiefly North American (Of a telephone line) engaged.
More example sentences
  • I pick up the phone and dial his number to tell him, but his line is busy.
  • So instead she tried dialing Montgomery home but the line was busy.
  • I tried phoning the house a couple of times, but the line was busy, Billy's sister was probably using it.
Synonyms
unavailable, otherwise engaged;
engaged, occupied, in a meeting, working, at work, on duty, on active service, in harness
informal tied up
(be busy)have a prior/previous engagement
2Excessively detailed or decorated: the lavish set designs are a little too busy
More example sentences
  • In the shop, we found a fluffy, long skirt with a busy paisley pattern on it.
  • There's no doubt about it, plaid, like any other busy pattern, can put on the illusion of girth.
  • He opened it, the first page emblazoned with flashy colours and busy patterns.
Synonyms
excessively ornate, over-ornate, over-elaborate, over-embellished, overdecorated, overblown, overripe, overwrought, exaggerated, overdone, florid, fussy, cluttered, contrived, overworked, over-detailed, strained, laboured, baroque, rococo
British informal like Piccadilly Circus

verb (busies, busying, busied)

(busy oneself) Back to top  
Keep oneself occupied: she busied herself with her new home
More example sentences
  • Moreover, one can busy oneself almost endlessly in talking about measurement and assessment.
  • I note the time and busy myself making a pot of tea to keep my mind occupied until the 3-minute mark.
  • Too often we busy ourselves with petty distractions, in order to escape the confrontation with reality.
Synonyms

noun

(also bizzy) (plural busies or bizzies) British informal Back to top  
A police officer: I was picked up by the busies for possession
More example sentences
  • The bizzies just stick up for them, minute they're there they're around them.
  • And, when the bizzies sped round to the Close one last time, nobody had seen a thing, honest.
  • The bizzies took him away because they said he was illegal but they gave me him back after two days.

Origin

Old English bisgian (verb), bisig (noun); related to Dutch bezig, of unknown origin.

Phrases

get busy

1Begin work or tasks that need to be done: this meeting is dismissed—let’s get busy, people
More example sentences
  • Now with your second chance, you can get busy.
  • You're right, I need to get busy or I'll get nothing done.
  • Unions leaders need to get busy getting their act together, too.
2 informal Have sexual intercourse.
More example sentences
  • The film opens with a handful of high school kids, getting busy in the back seats of their cars.
  • I've never met a girl who could resist being alone with him and they didn't get busy.
  • John and I got busy just that afternoon when everyone was out.

Derivatives

busyness

Pronunciation: /ˈbɪzɪnɪs/
noun
More example sentences
  • Activity and busyness make me feel that I am vitally alive.
  • We wanted our products to speak for themselves and hid behind our busyness.
  • Paisley is a very bold, compassionless thing that should not be taken lightly - and certainly not with a skirt of competing busyness that sort of looks like a domestic accident.

Definition of busy in:

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Word of the day retroflex
Pronunciation: ˈrɛtrə(ʊ)flɛks
adjective
turned backwards