busts up

bust

2 [buhst]
verb (used without object)
1.
Informal.
a.
to burst.
b.
to go bankrupt.
c.
to collapse from the strain of making a supreme effort: She was determined to make straight A's or bust.
2.
Cards.
a.
Draw Poker. to fail to make a flush or straight by one card.
b.
Blackjack. to draw cards exceeding the count of 21.
verb (used with object)
3.
Informal.
a.
to burst.
b.
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.
a.
to place under arrest: The gang was busted and put away on narcotics charges.
b.
to subject to a police raid: The bar has been busted three times for selling drinks to minors.
7.
Informal.
a.
to hit.
b.
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.
a.
an arrest.
b.
a police raid.
12.
Informal. a drinking spree; binge.
13.
Cards.
a.
a very weak hand.
b.
Bridge. a hand lacking the potential to take a single trick.
adjective
14.
Informal. bankrupt; broke.
Verb phrases
15.
bust up, Informal.
a.
to break up; separate: Sam and his wife busted up a year ago.
b.
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.
a.
to attack physically; beat up.
b.
to criticize or reprimand harshly.
c.
to make fun of or laugh at; mock.
d.
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.


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.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
bust1 (bʌst)
 
n
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
 
[C17: from French buste, from Italian busto a sculpture, of unknown origin]

bust2 (bʌst)
 
vb , busts, busting, busted, bust
1.  to burst or break
2.  to make or become bankrupt
3.  (tr) (of the police) to raid, search, or arrest: the girl was busted for drugs
4.  (US), (Canadian) (tr) to demote, esp in military rank
5.  (US), (Canadian) (tr) to break or tame (a horse, etc)
6.  chiefly (US) (tr) to punch; hit
7.  bust a gut See gut
 
n
8.  a raid, search, or arrest by the police
9.  chiefly (US) a punch; hit
10.  (US), (Canadian) a failure, esp a financial one; bankruptcy
11.  a drunken party
 
adj
12.  broken
13.  bankrupt
14.  go bust to become bankrupt
 
[C19: from a dialect pronunciation of burst]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

bust
1690s, "sculpture of upper torso and head," from Fr. buste (16c.), from It. busto "upper body," from L. bustum "funeral monument, tomb," originally "funeral pyre, place where corpses are burned," perhaps shortened from ambustum, neut. of ambustus "burned around," pp. of amburere "burn around, scorch,"
from ambi- "around" + urere "to burn." Or perhaps from O.Latin boro, the early form of classical L. 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 1819.

bust
variant of burst, 1764, Amer.Eng. The verb sense of "to burst" is first attested 1806; the slang meaning "demote" (especially in a military sense) is from 1918; that of "arrest" is from 1953 (earlier "to raid" from Prohibition). Originally "frolic, spree;" sense of "sudden
failure" is from 1842. 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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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