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busk

[buhsk] /bʌsk/
verb (used without object)
1.
Chiefly British. to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.
2.
Canadian. to make a showy or noisy appeal.
Origin of busk
1850-1855
1850-55; perhaps, if earlier sense was “to make a living by entertaining,” < Polari < Italian buscare to procure, get, gain < Spanish buscar to look for, seek (of disputed orig.)
Related forms
busker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for busk

busk1

/bʌsk/
noun
1.
a strip of whalebone, wood, steel, etc, inserted into the front of a corset to stiffen it
2.
(archaic or dialect) the corset itself
Word Origin
C16: from Old French busc, probably from Old Italian busco splinter, stick, of Germanic origin

busk2

/bʌsk/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (Brit) to make money by singing, dancing, acting, etc, in public places, as in front of theatre queues
Derived Forms
busker, noun
busking, noun
Word Origin
C20: perhaps from Spanish buscar to look for

busk3

/bʌsk/
verb (transitive) (Scot)
1.
to make ready; prepare
2.
to dress or adorn
Word Origin
C14: from Old Norse būask, from būa to make ready, dwell; see bower1
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 busk
n.

"strip of wood, whalebone, etc., used in corset-making," 1590s, probably from French busc (16c.), from Italian bosco "splinter," of Germanic origin (see bush (n.)).

v.

"to prepare, to dress oneself," also "to go, set out," c.1300, probably from Old Norse buask "to prepare oneself," reflexive of bua "to prepare" (see bound (adj.2)) + contraction of Old Norse reflexive pronoun sik. Most common in northern Middle English and surviving chiefly in Scottish and northern English dialect. Related boun had the same senses in northern and Scottish Middle English. Related: Busked; busking.

The nautical term is attested from 1660s (in a general sense of "to tack, to beat to windward"), apparently from obsolete French busquer "to shift, filch, prowl," which is related to Italian buscare "to filch, prowl," Spanish buscar (from Old Spanish boscar), perhaps originally from bosco "wood" (see bush (n.)), with a hunting notion of "beating a wood" to flush game.

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

busk

verb

To perform music in subway stations or other public places, taking the contributions of listeners •Very common in Great Britain, but spreading to the US (1840s+)

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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