9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[buhs-uh l] /ˈbʌs əl/
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.
Origin of bustle1
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
4. ado, flurry, agitation, fuss. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bustling
  • They have bustling shops filled with skilled staff members charged with particular duties.
  • But drive to the address on the contact page and instead you'll find a bustling auto-body repair shop.
  • Transform empty malls into bustling shopping centers.
  • At the country's center, it is a transportation hub, home to bustling railroads and the country's busiest airport.
  • So, as with any outlawed or heavily regulated resource, a bustling underground trade has formed.
  • Ships often have to wait for hours for their turn to cross the bustling waterway.
  • The intersection of science and art is bustling with activity.
  • So, take a load off, the bustling city will be there when you get back.
  • Code monkeys at bustling startups work long hours and often need some tasty refreshment in a pinch.
  • But spaceport proponents envision a world destination bustling with space tourists and frequent rocket launches.
British Dictionary definitions for bustling


when intr, often foll by about. to hurry or cause to hurry with a great show of energy or activity
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


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 bustling

of a place, 1880, present participle adjective from 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.


"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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