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bust1

[buhst] /bʌst/
noun
1.
a sculptured, painted, drawn, or engraved representation of the upper part of the human figure, especially a portrait sculpture showing only the head and shoulders of the subject.
2.
the chest or breast, especially a woman's bosom.
Origin
1685-1695
1685-95; < French buste < Italian busto, probably < Latin būstum grave mound, tomb, literally, funeral pyre, ashes; presumably by association with the busts erected over graves

bust2

[buhst] /bʌst/
verb (used without object)
1.
Informal.
  1. to burst.
  2. to go bankrupt.
  3. to collapse from the strain of making a supreme effort:
    She was determined to make straight A's or bust.
2.
Cards.
  1. Draw Poker. to fail to make a flush or straight by one card.
  2. Blackjack. to draw cards exceeding the count of 21.
verb (used with object)
3.
Informal.
  1. to burst.
  2. to bankrupt; ruin financially.
4.
to demote, especially in military rank or grade:
He was busted from sergeant to private three times.
5.
to tame; break:
to bust a bronco.
6.
Slang.
  1. to place under arrest:
    The gang was busted and put away on narcotics charges.
  2. to subject to a police raid:
    The bar has been busted three times for selling drinks to minors.
7.
Informal.
  1. to hit.
  2. to break; fracture:
    She fell and busted her arm.
noun
8.
a failure.
9.
Informal. a hit; sock; punch:
He got a bust in the nose before he could put up his hands.
10.
a sudden decline in the economic conditions of a country, marked by an extreme drop in stock-market prices, business activity, and employment; depression.
11.
Slang.
  1. an arrest.
  2. a police raid.
12.
Informal. a drinking spree; binge.
13.
Cards.
  1. a very weak hand.
  2. Bridge. a hand lacking the potential to take a single trick.
adjective
14.
Informal. bankrupt; broke.
Verb phrases
15.
bust up, Informal.
  1. to break up; separate:
    Sam and his wife busted up a year ago.
  2. to damage or destroy:
    Soldiers got in a fight and busted up the bar.
Idioms
16.
bust ass, Slang: Vulgar. to fight with the fists; strike or thrash another.
17.
bust on, Slang.
  1. to attack physically; beat up.
  2. to criticize or reprimand harshly.
  3. to make fun of or laugh at; mock.
  4. to inform on.
18.
bust one's ass, Slang: Vulgar. to make an extreme effort; exert oneself.
Origin
1755-65; variant of burst, by loss of r before s, as in ass2, bass2, passel, etc.
Usage note
Historically bust is derived from a dialect pronunciation of burst and is related to it much as cuss is related to curse. Bust is both a noun and a verb and has a wide range of meanings for both uses. Many are slang or informal. A few, as “a decline in economic conditions, depression,” are standard.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bust
  • It features a small bust of manuel belgrano on its middle spot.
  • It has two possible etymologies agent noun of the verb bust.
  • Room was made for the bust in front with more gussets, and the back lowered.
British Dictionary definitions for bust

bust1

/bʌst/
noun
1.
the chest of a human being, esp a woman's bosom
2.
a sculpture of the head, shoulders, and upper chest of a person
Word Origin
C17: from French buste, from Italian busto a sculpture, of unknown origin

bust2

/bʌst/
verb busts, busting, busted, bust
1.
to burst or break
2.
to make or become bankrupt
3.
(transitive) (of the police) to raid, search, or arrest: the girl was busted for drugs
4.
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to demote, esp in military rank
5.
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to break or tame (a horse, etc)
6.
(transitive) (mainly US) to punch; hit
7.
bust a gut, See gut (sense 9)
noun
8.
a raid, search, or arrest by the police
9.
(mainly US) a punch; hit
10.
(US & Canadian) a failure, esp a financial one; bankruptcy
11.
a drunken party
adjective
12.
broken
13.
bankrupt
14.
go bust, to become bankrupt
Word Origin
C19: from a dialect pronunciation of burst
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 bust
n.

1690s, "sculpture of upper torso and head," from French buste (16c.), from Italian busto "upper body," from Latin bustum "funeral monument, tomb," originally "funeral pyre, place where corpses are burned," perhaps shortened from ambustum, neuter of ambustus "burned around," past participle of amburere "burn around, scorch," from ambi- "around" + urere "to burn." Or perhaps from Old Latin boro, the early form of classical Latin uro "to burn." Sense development in Italian is probably from Etruscan custom of keeping dead person's ashes in an urn shaped like the person when alive. Meaning "bosom" is by 1884.

variant of burst (n.), 1764, American English. For loss of -r-, cf. ass (n.2). Originally "frolic, spree;" sense of "sudden failure" is from 1842. Meaning "police raid or arrest" is from 1938. Phrase ______ or bust as an emphatic expression attested by 1851 in British depictions of Western U.S. dialect. Probably from earlier expression bust (one's) boiler, by late 1840s, a reference to steamboat boilers exploding when driven too hard.

v.

"to burst," 1806, variant of burst (v.); for loss of -r-, cf. ass (n.2). Meaning "go bankrupt" is from 1834. Meaning "break into" is from 1859. The slang meaning "demote" (especially in a military sense) is from 1918; that of "place under arrest" is from 1953 (earlier "to raid" from Prohibition). In card games, "to go over a score of 21," from 1939. Related: Busted; busting.

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

bust

adjective
  1. Out of funds; destitute; broke (1840s+)
  2. A police raid: One whiff of marijuana and we get a bust (1930s+)
  3. An arrest; collar: Beating a Bust: Two Views (1918+)
  4. That one bust decked me
  5. A failure; fiasco: My try for her sweet favors was a total bust (1840s+)
  6. A person who fails; loser, nonstarter: At baseball I was a risible bust (1920s+)
  7. A spree; drinking bout: took his paycheck and went on a bust (1840+)
verb
  1. To break: I busted my nose (1806+)
  2. o disperse or chase a rival street gang (1950s+ Street gang)
  3. To reduce in rank; demote: He got busted from buck sergeant to buck private (late 1800s+ Army)
  4. To tame a wild horse for riding: Two rides will usually bust a bronco so that the average cow-puncher can use him (1890s+ Cowboys)
  5. o break open a safe, vault, etc; also, burglarize a place (1890s+ Underworld)
  6. : I've been busted, bring bail
  7. To catch someone in an illegal or immoral act (1950s+ Teenagers)
  8. To hit someone: She busted me in the kishkes (1808+)
  9. To fail an examination or course; flunk •The standard form burst is found in the 1850s: I miserably busted the econ final (1900+ College students)
Related Terms

beer bust, go broke


busted

adjective
  1. Penniless; broke (1860s+)
  2. Arrested or caught by an authority: I'm so busted
  3. Intoxicated

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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Idioms and Phrases with bust
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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