Word of the Day: bust

Word of the Day
June 22, 2016
bust (verb, noun, adjective)
/bʌst/  sound icon
 
A Roman bust
To bust means 'to hit, burst, or break.' We also use bust, followed by the preposition up, to mean 'to damage or destroy' or to refer to a couple ending their relationship. Informally, it means 'to arrest someone' or 'to enter a house in a police raid.' As a noun, a bust is a failure, a sudden economic depression, or a police raid. As an adjective, it means 'bankrupt.' The past tense and past participle of bust can be either busted or bust.

 

Example sentences
 
The construction workers busted through the wall.
Paula knew she was in trouble when she bust her mom's favorite vase.
Rock groups have a reputation for busting up hotel rooms.
I think Phil and David might bust up. They're always arguing.
Officers bust the robber as he came out of the bank.
The police bust the drug dealer's house.
My first day at work went really badly; it was a complete bust!
Economies often experience cycles of boom and bust.

 

Multi-word forms
 
bust-up (UK): a fight. Example: "There was a bust-up in the bar last night."
 
bust your ass (US, slang, vulgar): work really hard. Example: "I've been busting my ass for weeks now trying to get this project finished!"
 
go bust: go bankrupt, lose all your money. Example: "Many Internet companies went bust in the early 2000s."
 
Did you know?
 
Bust also means the bosom, or chest of a woman, and, nowadays it particularly refers to a woman's breasts. Example: "Lucy has a large bust and has to buy her bras from a specialist store." We can also use the related adjective busty to describe a woman with a large bust.
 
Origin
 
Bust was first used in the mid-18th century, and is a variant of burst, which is common in words that have or had an r before an s.
 
 
 
 
 
Bust in other languages
 
 
 
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