- See under bushel1(def 1).
- a unit of dry measure containing 4 pecks, equivalent in the U.S. (and formerly in England) to 2150.42 cubic inches or 35.24 liters (Winchester bushel), and in Great Britain to 2219.36 cubic inches or 36.38 liters (Imperial bushel). Abbreviation: bu., bush.
- a container of this capacity.
- a unit of weight equal to the weight of a bushel of a given commodity.
- a large, unspecified amount or number: a bushel of kisses.
Origin of bushel1
- a Brit unit of dry or liquid measure equal to 8 Imperial gallons. 1 Imperial bushel is equivalent to 0.036 37 cubic metres
- a US unit of dry measure equal to 64 US pints. 1 US bushel is equivalent to 0.035 24 cubic metres
- a container with a capacity equal to either of these quantities
- US informal a large amount; great deal
- hide one's light under a bushel to conceal one's abilities or good qualities
- (tr) US to alter or mend (a garment)
Word Origin and History for imperial bushel
early 14c., measure of capacity containing four pecks or eight gallons, from Old French boissel "bushel" (13c., Modern French boisseau), probably from boisse, a grain measure based on Gallo-Romance *bostia "handful," from Gaulish *bosta "palm of the hand" (cf. Irish bass, Breton boz "the hollow of the hand"). The exact measure varied from place to place and according to commodity, and since late 14c. it has been used loosely to mean "a large quantity or number."