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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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for buses
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Owing to a shortage of red paint, several London 'buses are being painted brown.

  • The same with the 'buses and cabs, the same with the Underground.

    The Devil's Paw E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • It is cold: a great wind flaps and tangles the flags; the tops of the buses are almost empty.

    Pipefuls Christopher Morley
  • Moreover, it was highly unlikely that buses serviced the village any more.

    The Servant Problem Robert F. Young
  • buses, electric, cable and the old steam trams crowded with holiday-makers with baskets.

    Children of the Bush Henry Lawson
British Dictionary definitions for buses


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 buses



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 buses



  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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