Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

busk

[buhsk]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object)
  1. Chiefly British. to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.
  2. Canadian. to make a showy or noisy appeal.

Origin of busk

1850–55; perhaps, if earlier sense was “to make a living by entertaining,” < Polari < Italian buscare to procure, get, gain < Spanish buscar to look for, seek (of disputed orig.)
Related formsbusk·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for busker

Historical Examples

  • Busker, a man who sings or performs in a public-house; an itinerant.

    The Slang Dictionary

    John Camden Hotten

  • As the latter had said, the girl was sleeping still, and Mrs. Busker saw that her position had not changed by a hair's breadth.


British Dictionary definitions for busker

busk1

noun
  1. a strip of whalebone, wood, steel, etc, inserted into the front of a corset to stiffen it
  2. archaic, or dialect the corset itself

Word Origin

C16: from Old French busc, probably from Old Italian busco splinter, stick, of Germanic origin

busk2

verb
  1. (intr) British to make money by singing, dancing, acting, etc, in public places, as in front of theatre queues
Derived Formsbusker, nounbusking, noun

Word Origin

C20: perhaps from Spanish buscar to look for

busk3

verb (tr) Scot
  1. to make ready; prepare
  2. to dress or adorn

Word Origin

C14: from Old Norse būask, from būa to make ready, dwell; see bower 1
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

Word Origin and History for busker

n.

"itinerant entertainer," 1857, from busk (v.) "to offer goods for sale only in bars and taprooms," 1851 (in Mayhew), perhaps from busk "to cruise as a pirate," which was used in a figurative sense by 1841, in reference to people living shiftless and peripatetic lives. Busker has been mistakenly derived from buskin in the stage sense.

busk

n.

"strip of wood, whalebone, etc., used in corset-making," 1590s, probably from French busc (16c.), from Italian bosco "splinter," of Germanic origin (see bush (n.)).

busk

v.

"to prepare, to dress oneself," also "to go, set out," c.1300, probably from Old Norse buask "to prepare oneself," reflexive of bua "to prepare" (see bound (adj.2)) + contraction of Old Norse reflexive pronoun sik. Most common in northern Middle English and surviving chiefly in Scottish and northern English dialect. Related boun had the same senses in northern and Scottish Middle English. Related: Busked; busking.

The nautical term is attested from 1660s (in a general sense of "to tack, to beat to windward"), apparently from obsolete French busquer "to shift, filch, prowl," which is related to Italian buscare "to filch, prowl," Spanish buscar (from Old Spanish boscar), perhaps originally from bosco "wood" (see bush (n.)), with a hunting notion of "beating a wood" to flush game.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.