verb (used without object)
Chiefly British. to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.
Canadian. to make a showy or noisy appeal.

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.)

busker, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To busker
World English Dictionary
busk1 (bʌsk)
1.  a strip of whalebone, wood, steel, etc, inserted into the front of a corset to stiffen it
2.  archaic, dialect or the corset itself
[C16: from Old French busc, probably from Old Italian busco splinter, stick, of Germanic origin]

busk2 (bʌsk)
(Brit) (intr) to make money by singing, dancing, acting, etc, in public places, as in front of theatre queues
[C20: perhaps from Spanish buscar to look for]

busk3 (bʌsk)
1.  to make ready; prepare
2.  to dress or adorn
[C14: from Old Norse būask, from būa to make ready, dwell; see bower1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"itinerant entertainer," 1857, from busk (v.) "to offer goods for sale only in bars and taprooms," 1851 (in Mayhew), perhaps from busk "to cruise as a pirate," which was used in a figurative sense by 1841, in reference to people living shifless and peripatetic lives. The nautical term is attested from
1660s (in a general sense of "to tack, to beat to windward"), apparently from obs. Fr. busquer "to shift, filch, prowl," which is related to It. buscare "to filch, prowl," Sp. buscar (from O.Sp. boscar), perhaps originally from bosco "wood" (see bush), with a hunting notion of "beating a wood" to flush game. Busker has been mistakenly derived from buskin in the stage sense
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
She's in full-on busker mode for this one, starting out playing harmonica and acoustic guitar.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature