- actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime: busy with her work.
- not at leisure; otherwise engaged: He couldn't see any visitors because he was busy.
- full of or characterized by activity: a busy life.
- (of a telephone line) in use by a party or parties and not immediately accessible.
- officious; meddlesome; prying.
- ornate, disparate, or clashing in design or colors; cluttered with small, unharmonious details; fussy: The rug is too busy for this room.
- to keep occupied; make or keep busy: In summer, he busied himself keeping the lawn in order.
Origin of busy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for busier
And the cameras on the busier streets would show hundreds of people going past.Exclusive: Inside a Cop-Killer’s Final Hours
December 31, 2014
On busier roads, elderly, scarved women sat by piles of potatoes and onions hoping forlornly for a sale.As the Key Battle Looms, a Report from Ukraine's Front Lines
August 13, 2014
And its employees are likely to be busier in the coming months.Existing Home Sales Rise in July
August 22, 2012
The ironic part of it was that, for all that had happened, I was busier all the time.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Hapgood was busy; Serena was busier, and Azuba was busiest of all.Cap'n Dan's Daughter
Joseph C. Lincoln
"Then the devil is busier than he seems, even after a night at Court," I said.Simon Dale
"You've got to be busier in a few minutes," was the harsh reply.The Devil's Paw
E. Phillips Oppenheim
For eight months or so Remington Solander was busier than he had ever been in his life.Solander's Radio Tomb
Ellis Parker Butler
- actively or fully engaged; occupied
- crowded with or characterized by activitya busy day
- mainly US and Canadian (of a room, telephone line, etc) in use; engaged
- overcrowded with detaila busy painting
- meddlesome; inquisitive; prying
- (tr) to make or keep (someone, esp oneself) busy; occupy
Word Origin and History for busier
Old English bisig "careful, anxious," later "continually employed or occupied," cognate with Old Dutch bezich, Low German besig; no known connection with any other Germanic or Indo-European language. Still pronounced as in Middle English, but for some unclear reason the spelling shifted to -u- in 15c.
The notion of "anxiousness" has drained from the word since Middle English. Often in a bad sense in early Modern English, "prying, meddlesome" (preserved in busybody). The word was a euphemism for "sexually active" in 17c. Of telephone lines, 1893. Of display work, "excessively detailed, visually cluttered," 1903.
late Old English bisgian, from busy (adj.). Related: Busied; busying.