- 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 for busy on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for busied
Nearby a family of Turkish Kurds busied themselves in their fields piling vegetables onto a donkey-drawn cart.Impotent U.S. Airstrikes, Passive Turks and an ISIS Triumph
October 3, 2014
"That's it," he said, as he busied himself with a tall glass and the cracked ice.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
There was a pause, during which Cartwright busied himself with his papers.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
That day in every house, in varied occupation, each family was busied.Indian Legends of Vancouver Island
Moreover, when he was about thirty, he had busied himself with spiritualism.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
He busied himself in making fast the boat, while Hermione followed Vere.A Spirit in Prison
- 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 busied
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.
Idioms and Phrases with busied
In addition to the idioms beginning with busy
- busy as a beaver
- busy work
- get busy