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bustle1

[buhs-uh l] /ˈbʌs əl/
verb (used without object), bustled, bustling.
1.
to move or act with a great show of energy (often followed by about):
He bustled about cooking breakfast.
2.
to abound or teem with something; display an abundance of something; teem (often followed by with):
The office bustled with people and activity.
verb (used with object), bustled, bustling.
3.
to cause to bustle; hustle.
noun
4.
thriving or energetic activity; stir; ferment.
Origin
1615-1625
1615-25; Middle English bustelen to hurry aimlessly along, perhaps akin to Old Norse busla to splash about, bustle
Related forms
bustler, noun
bustlingly, adverb
unbustling, adjective
Synonyms
4. ado, flurry, agitation, fuss.

bustle2

[buhs-uh l] /ˈbʌs əl/
noun
1.
fullness around or below the waist of a dress, as added by a peplum, bows, ruffles, etc.
2.
a pad, cushion, or framework formerly worn under the back of a woman's skirt to expand, support, and display the full cut and drape of a dress.
Origin
1780-90; origin uncertain
Related forms
bustled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bustle
  • There was not the activity and the bustle which followed, the fire.
  • But the terrace does have some features that might take students away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Cities around the world cut pollution while restoring human bustle downtown.
  • It was a huge treat to visit him at the battered newsroom with all the hustle and bustle.
  • Viewed from the bustle of the press pit, the flow of talent was curious.
  • Planners have long been keen to use parks to keep the city at bay, to provide a retreat from urban bustle.
  • Servers bustle from table to table, bringing more and more dishes, opening more and more bottles.
  • It is so quiet there, such an absence of excitement or bustle.
  • The children seem more acclimated than the parents, and the apartment has a cozy, welcoming bustle to it.
  • But no one likes the traffic, the crowds, the sudden infusion of citified bustle and self-importance.
British Dictionary definitions for bustle

bustle1

/ˈbʌsəl/
verb
1.
when intr, often foll by about. to hurry or cause to hurry with a great show of energy or activity
noun
2.
energetic and noisy activity
Derived Forms
bustler, noun
bustling, adjective
Word Origin
C16: probably from obsolete buskle to make energetic preparation, from dialect busk from Old Norse būask to prepare

bustle2

/ˈbʌsəl/
noun
1.
a cushion or a metal or whalebone framework worn by women in the late 19th century at the back below the waist in order to expand the skirt
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin
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 bustle
v.

"be active," 1570s (bustling "noisy or excited activity" is from early 15c.), frequentative of Middle English bresten "to rush, break," from Old English bersten (see burst (v.)), influenced by Old Norse buask "to make oneself ready" (see busk (v.)), or from busk (v.) via a frequentative form buskle. Related: Bustled; bustling; bustler.

n.

"activity, stir, fuss, commotion," 1630s, from bustle (v.).

"padding in a skirt," 1788, of uncertain origin, perhaps from German Buschel "bunch, pad," or it might be a special use of bustle (n.1) with reference to "rustling motion."

BUSTLE. A pad stuffed with cotton, feathers, bran, &c., worn by ladies for the double purpose of giving a greater rotundity or prominence to the hips, and setting off the smallness of the waist. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for bustle

item of feminine apparel for pushing out the skirt in back just below the waist; although used at various times since the 14th century, it was first known under this name in the 19th century. The specific fashion for the bustle, or tournure, came between 1865 and 1876 and again in the 1880s. It followed the decline of the crinoline (q.v.) and began as a bunching up of material behind the waist but became a wire cage attached to the petticoat, sticking out backward like a shelf, over which the dress material was draped.

Learn more about bustle with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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