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[buhs] /bʌs/
noun, plural buses, busses.
a large motor vehicle, having a long body, equipped with seats or benches for passengers, usually operating as part of a scheduled service; omnibus.
a similar horse-drawn vehicle.
a passenger automobile or airplane used in a manner resembling that of a bus.
any vehicle operated to transport children to school.
a low, movable filing cabinet.
Electricity.. Also called bus bar, busbar
[buhs-bahr] /ˈbʌsˌbɑr/ (Show IPA)
. a heavy conductor, often made of copper in the shape of a bar, used to collect, carry, and distribute powerful electric currents, as those produced by generators.
Computers. a circuit that connects the CPU with other devices in a computer.
verb (used with object), bused or bussed, busing or bussing.
to convey or transport by bus:
to bus the tourists to another hotel.
to transport (pupils) to school by bus, especially as a means of achieving socioeconomic or racial diversity among students in a public school.
verb (used without object), bused or bussed, busing or bussing.
to travel on or by means of a bus:
We bused to New York on a theater trip.
throw under the bus. throw (def 57).
Origin of bus1
1825-35; short for omnibus; (def 6) short for omnibus bar
Can be confused
bussed, bust.


[buhs] /bʌs/
verb (used with or without object), bused or bussed, busing or bussing.
to work or act as a busboy or busgirl:
She bused for her meals during her student days.
1830-40; back formation from busboy




[maws-bak-er, mos-] /ˈmɔs bæk ər, ˈmɒs-/
Emil, Jr ("Bus") 1922–1997, U.S. yacht racer and government official. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Men with bundles waited at the cross-roads to pick up the bus.

    Sea and Sardinia D. H. Lawrence
  • The 'bus was now rolling over London Bridge, and the Cathedral could not be seen.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • Some day the lower classes will become perfectly unnecessary, like 'bus horses.

    The Champagne Standard Mrs. John Lane
  • He had hoped that they would walk home or that they would get on to a 'bus!

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • I must be going now, and look sharp if I'm to catch the bus.

    Sowing and Sewing Charlotte Mary Yonge
British Dictionary definitions for bus


noun (pl) buses, busses
a large motor vehicle designed to carry passengers between stopping places along a regular route More formal name omnibus Sometimes called motorbus
short for trolleybus
(modifier) of or relating to a bus or buses: a bus driver, a bus station
(informal) a car or aircraft, esp one that is old and shaky
(electronics, computing) short for busbar
the part of a MIRV missile payload containing the re-entry vehicles and guidance and thrust devices
(astronautics) a platform in a space vehicle used for various experiments and processes
miss the bus, to miss an opportunity; be too late
verb buses, busing, bused, busses, bussing, bussed
to travel or transport by bus
(mainly US & Canadian) to transport (children) by bus from one area to a school in another in order to create racially integrated classes
Word Origin
C19: short for omnibus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bus

1832, abbreviation of omnibus (q.v.). The modern English noun is nothing but a Latin dative plural ending. To miss the bus, in the figurative sense of "lose an opportunity," is from 1901, Australian English (OED has a figurative miss the omnibus from 1886). Busman's holiday "leisure time spent doing what one does for a living" (1893) is probably a reference to London bus drivers riding the buses on their days off.


1838, "to travel by omnibus," from bus (n.). Transitive meaning "transport students to integrate schools" is from 1961, American English. Meaning "clear tables in a restaurant" is first attested 1913, probably from the four-wheeled cart used to carry dishes. Related: Bused; busing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bus



  1. A car: Whose old bus is in the drive? (1919+)
  2. An aircraft (1916+)
  3. An ambulance: Roger oneoh-four, do we need a bus? (1980s+ Police)


To clear dirty dishes and tableware from the tables in a restaurant or cafeteria (1913+)

Related Terms

jitney, miss the bus, rubberneck wagon

[the restaurant sense probably fr the four-wheeled cart often used to carry dishes]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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bus in Technology
architecture, networking
A set of electrical conductors (wires, PCB tracks or connections in an integrated circuit) connecting various "stations", which can be functional units in a computer or nodes in a network. A bus is a broadcast channel, meaning that each station receives every other station's transmissions and all stations have equal access to the bus.
Various schemes have been invented to solve the problem of collisions: multiple stations trying to transmit at once, e.g. CSMA/CD, bus master.
The term is almost certainly derived from the electrical engineering term "bus bar" - a substantial, rigid power supply conductor to which several connections are made. This was once written "'bus bar" as it was a contraction of "omnibus bar" - a connection bar "for all", by analogy with the passenger omnibus - a conveyance "for all".
More on derivation (
See computer bus or bus network.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for bus


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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