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
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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
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Word Origin & History

1851, slang, described variously as selling articles or obscene ballads in public houses, playing music on the streets, or performing as a sort of informal stand-up comedy act in pubs, perhaps from an earlier word meaning "to cruise as a pirate" (see busker).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Could probably lift his whole village out of poverty quicker than through the use of his busking shrapnel.
Busking is the practice of performing in public places for tips and gratuities.
No article on busking would be complete without mention of the one man band.
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