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Etymology 1Edit

From French buste < Italian busto, from Latin būstum.


bust (plural busts)

  1. A sculptural portrayal of a person's head and shoulders.
  2. The breasts and upper thorax of a woman.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From a variant of burst. Compare German Low German basten and barsten (to burst).


bust (third-person singular simple present busts, present participle busting, simple past and past participle busted)

  1. (transitive, colloquial, chiefly US) To break.
    I busted my cooker while trying to fix it.
  2. (transitive, slang) To arrest (someone) for a crime.
  3. (transitive, slang) To catch (someone) in the act of doing something wrong, socially and morally inappropriate, or illegal, especially when being done in a sneaky or secretive state.
  4. (snowboarding) An emphatic synonym of do or get.
    He busted huge air off that jump!
  5. (US, informal) To reduce in rank.
    He busted him down to patrolman for insubordination.
    • 1962, The Manchurian Candidate, 01:56:35
      If Steinkamp doesn't take off that hat and stop messing around, I'm gonna bust him into a PFC.
  6. (poker) To lose all of one's chips.
  7. (blackjack) To exceed a score of 21.
  8. (transitive, slang) To break in (an animal).
    • 1997, Charles Oswald, Gone with the Western Wind
      A few weeks later, Richard was killed accidentally while busting a wild mustang []
  • (to arrest for a crime): nick
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


bust (plural busts)

  1. (slang) The act of arresting someone for a crime, or raiding a suspected criminal operation.
    a narcotics bust
  2. (slang) A failed enterprise; a bomb.
  3. (sports, derogatory) A player who fails to meet expectations.
  4. (chess, informal) A refutation of an opening, or of previously published analysis.


bust (not comparable)

  1. (slang) Without any money, broke.

Derived termsEdit




Borrowed from Latin būstum.


bust m (plural busts or bustos)

  1. bust (sculpture)
  2. bust (breasts and upper thorax)

Further readingEdit