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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To unbustling
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
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
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
Cite This Source
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature