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. Become bankrupt, financially ruined. For example,
Who knew that the brokerage firm would be busted
; early 1800s
Also see: under
. Be demoted, as in
If you're caught gambling you'll get busted to private
. This usage originated in the military and still most often denotes a reduction in rank.
. Be arrested or turned over to the police, as in
The gang members were sure they'd get busted
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Nearby words for be busted
be a friend of dorothy's
be at square one
be big on
be bound to
be caught dead, not
be caught short
be flat on one's back