Definition of busy in English:


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.
    strenuous, hectic, energetic, active, lively, exacting, tiring, full, eventfulcrowded, bustling, swarming, teeming, astir, buzzing, hectic, full, thronged, thronging, lively, vibrant
    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.
    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

verb (busies, busying, busied)

(busy oneself) Back to top  


(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.


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.



Pronunciation: /ˈbɪzɪnɪs/
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.


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

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