- 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.
- to cause to bustle; hustle.
- thriving or energetic activity; stir; ferment.
Origin of bustle1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- fullness around or below the waist of a dress, as added by a peplum, bows, ruffles, etc.
- a pad, cushion, or framework formerly worn under the back of a woman's skirt to expand, support, and display the full cut and drape of a dress.
Origin of bustle2
Examples from the Web for bustle
After nine months, McKeever gradually began to introduce Roger to the bustle and noise of New York.Central Park’s Carriages Saved This Horse
April 24, 2014
There is much purposeful hustle and bustle but tasks go uncompleted; confusion reigns.Inside The EuroMaidan’s Circle Of Trust
March 10, 2014
Since the film is set in the 19th century, Jones was outfitted in a series of Victorian era gowns, replete with bodice and bustle.Felicity Jones Is Bound for Stardom
December 29, 2013
The bustle of the newsroom is a mere backdrop for self-involved characters to give talky speeches and taunt each other.Aaron Sorkin’s Cable Crackup: Why His HBO Series Is a Snooze
June 22, 2012
I miss the hustle and bustle of New York when I fly in to speak or for meetings.Rebecca Walker’s ‘Black Cool’ Promotes the Non-Material Side of Black Culture
February 4, 2012
Meanwhile there had been bustle and preparation in all parts of the great vessel.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
During this time there was a bustle of much interest in the paddock.Thoroughbreds
W. A. Fraser
What is there in it, says she, that all this bustle is about?Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
It's no trial to you, Mark, to make yourself comfortable and to bustle about.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
I heard the bustle of the others—of the audience going away.The First Violin
- (when intr , often foll by about) to hurry or cause to hurry with a great show of energy or activity
- energetic and noisy activity
- 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
Word Origin and History for bustle
"be active," 1570s (bustling "noisy or excited activity" is from early 15c.), frequentative of Middle English bresten "to rush, break," from Old English bersten (see burst (v.)), influenced by Old Norse buask "to make oneself ready" (see busk (v.)), or from busk (v.) via a frequentative form buskle. Related: Bustled; bustling; bustler.
"padding in a skirt," 1788, of uncertain origin, perhaps from German Buschel "bunch, pad," or it might be a special use of bustle (n.1) with reference to "rustling motion."
BUSTLE. A pad stuffed with cotton, feathers, bran, &c., worn by ladies for the double purpose of giving a greater rotundity or prominence to the hips, and setting off the smallness of the waist. [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]
"activity, stir, fuss, commotion," 1630s, from bustle (v.).