Open main menu
See also: Omnibus and ómnibus



English Wikipedia has an article on:


A horse-drawn omnibus (sense 1) in London, UK, in 1902

From French omnibus, from Latin omnibus (for all), dative plural of omnis (all), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃ep-ni- (working), from *h₃ep- (to work; to possess) or *h₁op- (to work; to take).



omnibus (plural omnibuses or omnibusses or omnibi) (the last form is nonstandard)

  1. (dated) A vehicle set up to carry many people (now usually called a bus).
    • 1830, James Scott Walker, “The Small Tunnel”, in An Accurate Description of the Liverpool and Manchester Rail-way, the Tunnel, the Bridges, and Other Works throughout the Line; an Account of the Opening of the Rail-way, and the Melancholy Incident which Occurred; a Short Memoir of the Late Right Hon. W[illia]m Huskisson, and Particulars of the Funeral Procession, &c. With a Map of the Line, and a View of the Bridge over Water Street, Manchester, 2nd edition, Liverpool: Printed & published by J. F. Cannell, 81, Lord-Street, OCLC 39554339, page 20:
      In front of the latter [coach-houses for railway carriages] is a handsome building, intended as offices for the clerks of the Company, coach-offices, and apartments for the reception and accomodation of passengers, who will be conveyed thither in omnibusses from Liverpool, and taking their respective places in the travelling carriages, will be let off down the inclined plane of the little Tunnel, to be hooked to the locomotives in the area, on the other side of the hill.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], OCLC 16832619, page 16:
      Athelstan Arundel walked home all the way, foaming and raging. No omnibus, cab, or conveyance ever built could contain a young man in such a rage. His mother lived at Pembridge Square, which is four good measured miles from Lincoln's Inn.
    • 1911, E[dward] M[organ] Forster, “The Celestial Omnibus. [Chapter II.]”, in The Celestial Omnibus: And Other Stories, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, OCLC 222065657; republished London: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd. Adam Street, Adelphi, W.C., 1912, OCLC 23715818, page 61:
      "Please," his voice quavered through the foul brown air, "Please, is that an omnibus?" / "Omnibus est," said the driver, without turning round.
    • 1919 October 20, Virginia Woolf, chapter XIII, in Night and Day, London: Duckworth and Company, OCLC 934871138; republished New York, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1920, OCLC 492270719, page 160:
      When he came back to his work after lunch he carried in his head a picture of the Strand, scatted with omnibuses, and of the purple shapes of leaves pressed flat upon the gravel, as if his eyes had always been bent upon the ground.
    • [1959 May 2, Michael Flanders, “A Transport of Delight”, in At the Drop of a Hat, [New York, N.Y.?]: Parlophone, OCLC 220646045, PCSO 3001, audio recording of a musical revue:
      Omnibus, my friend Mr. [Donald] Swann informs me, comes from the Latin omnibus, meaning to or for by with or from everybody, which is a very good description. Well, this song is about a bus, it's wittily subtitled—I thought of this—'A Transport of Delight'.]
    • 1988 December 23, Rowan Atkinson as Ebenezer Blackadder, Blackadder's Christmas Carol, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, London: BBC, OCLC 795996742:
      Baldrick, I want you to take this [money] and go out, and buy a turkey so large you'd think its mother had been rogered by an omnibus.
  2. An anthology of previously released material linked together by theme or author, especially in book form.
  3. A broadcast programme consisting of all of the episodes of a serial that have been shown in the previous week.
    The omnibus edition of The Archers is broadcast every Sunday morning at 11.00.
    • 2014, Kim Newman, “Introduction”, in Quatermass and the Pit, London: Palgrave Macmillan on behalf of the British Film Institute, →ISBN, page 7:
      In late 1959, well before he was required to adapt his six-part Quatermass and the Pit teleplay into a ninety-seven-minute film script, [Nigel] Kneale supervised the editing of the BBC version into two feature-length episodes for a repeat broadcast. In 1989, he had another go at it, trimming the 207-minute serial into a 178-minute omnibus for release on video cassette, mostly losing comic relief.
  4. (philately) A stamp issue, usually commemorative, that appears simultaneously in several countries as a joint issue.
    • 2013, Agbenyega Adedze, “Visualizing the Game: The Iconography of Football on African Postage Stamps”, in Susann Baller, Giorgio Miescher, and Ciraj Rassool, editors, Global Perspectives on Football in Africa: Visualising the Game (Sport in the Global Society: Contemporary Perspectives), Abingdon, Oxon.; New York, N.Y.: Routledge, →ISBN, page 163:
      [M]any of the African nations issuing the World Cup stamps have pandered to international collectors, with some stamps not even sold in the country of issue. These ‘omnibus’ stamps featured topics and individuals with no links to the issuing country. African stamps displaying Disney themes, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson and Sylvester Stallone all belong to this category.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



omnibus (not comparable)

  1. Containing multiple items.
    The legislature enacted an omnibus appropriations bill.



omnibus (third-person singular simple present omnibuses or omnibusses, present participle omnibusing or omnibussing, simple past and past participle omnibused or omnibussed)

  1. (transitive) To combine (legislative bills, etc.) into a single package.
  2. (intransitive, dated) To drive an omnibus.
    • 1857, A[braham] Oakey Hall, “Trot the Seventh.—A New York Omnibus has a Singular Fare on a Stormy Night, and what Came of It”, in Old Whitey’s Christmas Trot. A Story for the Holidays, New York, N.Y.: Published by Harper & Brothers, Pearl Street, Franklin Square, OCLC 47176584, page 93:
      I'm two shillings short of usual rainy-day fares, and not a passenger is out, I'm certain—least ways can I see him, if there was. It's nice business, omnibusing is—in summer time!
  3. (intransitive, dated) To travel or be transported by omnibus.
    • 1842 February 12, “Observator” [pseudonym], “Liverpool and Manchester and Manchester and Leeds Railways [letter]”, in Supplement to The Railway Times, volume V, number 7, part II (number 215 from the start), London: Printed by John Thomas Norris, 137 and 138, Aldersgate street, in the Parish of St. Botolph Without, Aldersgate, in the City of London, and published by him at the Railway Times Office, No. 122, Fleet-street, (facing Saint Bride's Church), in the Parish of Saint Bride's, Fleet-street, Middlesex, OCLC 20387732, page 178:
      [W]hat would not be the effect on the goods, and even on the passenger traffic, of the Grand Junction and London and Birmingham lines, if two miles of the rails were to-morrow taken up through the town of Birmingham, so that the first (good) had all to be carted, and the second (passengers) had all to be omnibused, over the breach! Yet, such is the present state of the communication at Manchester!
    • 1848 June 15, N[athaniel] Parker Willis, “[Letters from Watering-places.] Letter I.”, in Rural Letters and Other Records of Thought at Leisure, Written in the Intervals of More Hurried Literary Labor, Detroit, Mich.: Kerr, Doughty & Lapham, published 1853, OCLC 2699027, page 309:
      [] Sharon Springs are five hours from Albany, three by railroad, and two by stage-coach. Passengers arrive in time to dress comfortably for dinner. The drive up is not particularly picturesque, but it is through woods and fields, and this, as a change from omnibusing between sidewalks and brick walls, is, at least, refreshing.
    • 1871, W. Justin O'Driscoll, chapter VI, in A Memoir of Daniel Maclise, R.A., London: Longmans, Green, and Co., OCLC 223792465, page 68:
      Two days I hired a carriage and showed them all distant places, such as Bois de Boulogne, Longchamps, Champ de Mars, Invalides, and some of the outer boulevards, Gobelins, Père La Chaise, Jardin de Plantes; but generally we omnibussed it, and for a few sous each you can get any distance along and athwart the city.
    • 2005, Simon Schama, in Simon Schama; Paul Moorhouse; Colin Wiggins, John Virtue: London Paintings, London: National Gallery Company, →ISBN, page 23:
      [John] Virtue has often sung his ode to pollution; the artist's friend. Whether to embrace or reject the begrimed air, the half-choked light has historically sorted out the men from the boys in London painters. [] Claude Monet was in two minds about it, cursing it from his room in the Savoy in 1899 for blotting out the fugitive sun. Yet by far the strongest of his paintings – completed in a studio a long, long way from the Thames – were the greeny-grey early-morning images of crowds tramping and omnibussing their way to work over hostile bridges, unblessed by even a hint of watery sunshine.


  • omnibus” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.




omnibus (invariable)

  1. (rail transport, of a train) Pertaining to a local (making stops at all stations)
    Un train omnibus.


omnibus m (plural omnibus)

  1. (dated) omnibus, bus (especially, a 19th-century horse-drawn omnibus)

Further readingEdit



(Classical) IPA(key): /ˈ, [ˈɔm.nɪ.bʊs]



  1. dative masculine plural of omnis
  2. dative feminine plural of omnis
  3. dative neuter plural of omnis
  4. ablative masculine plural of omnis
  5. ablative feminine plural of omnis
  6. ablative neuter plural of omnis
    • 29 bc. Vergil. Georgics, III
      amor omnibvs idem
      Sex is the same for all of them [viz., every form of man, beast, aquatic or winged life, and livestock]


omnibus n pl

  1. dative of omnia
  2. ablative of omnia