1 [buhs-uhl]
verb (used without object), bustled, bustling.
to move or act with a great show of energy (often followed by about ): He bustled about cooking breakfast.
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.
to cause to bustle; hustle.
thriving or energetic activity; stir; ferment.

1615–25; Middle English bustelen to hurry aimlessly along, perhaps akin to Old Norse busla to splash about, bustle

bustler, noun
bustlingly, adverb
unbustling, adjective

4. ado, flurry, agitation, fuss.
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2 [buhs-uhl]
fullness around or below the waist of a dress, as added by a peplum, bows, ruffles, etc.
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.

1780–90; origin uncertain

bustled, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bustle1 (ˈbʌsəl)
vb (when intr, often foll by about)
1.  to hurry or cause to hurry with a great show of energy or activity
2.  energetic and noisy activity
[C16: probably from obsolete buskle to make energetic preparation, from dialect busk from Old Norse būask to prepare]

bustle2 (ˈbʌsəl)
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
[C18: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"be active," mid-14c., frequentative of M.E. bresten "to rush, break," from O.E. bersten (see burst), influenced by O.N. buask "to make oneself ready" (see busk (v.)), or directly from busk as a frequentative form. The noun is first attested 1620s. Bustling, of a place, is first recorded 1880.

"padding in a skirt," 1788, perhaps from Ger. Buschel "bunch, pad," or may be a special use of bustle (1) with ref. to "rustling motion."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
Images for bustle
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