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.
- non·bus·y, adjective
- o·ver·bus·y, adjective
- su·per·bus·y, adjective
- un·bus·y, adjective
- well-busied, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use busy in a sentence
Every one, however, busies himself about things quite foreign to the work of the office.The Nabob | Alphonse Daudet
He busies himself throughout twelve books in teaching his students how to use all possible means to persuasion.Rhetoric and Poetry in the Renaissance | Donald Lemen Clark
Zoséphine busies herself with her riding-skirt, shifts her seat a little, and with studied carelessness assents.Bonaventure | George Washington Cable
We needed a word for the individual who busies himself with, or drives an automobile, and so we have adapted the word chauffeur.The Automobilist Abroad | M. F. (Milburg Francisco) Mansfield
In fact, he often has to leave the machine for a short time to look after itself while he busies himself with the gun.The Romance of War Inventions | Thomas W. Corbin
British Dictionary definitions for busy
actively or fully engaged; occupied
crowded with or characterized by activity: a busy day
mainly US and Canadian (of a room, telephone line, etc) in use; engaged
overcrowded with detail: a busy painting
meddlesome; inquisitive; prying
(tr) to make or keep (someone, esp oneself) busy; occupy
- busyness, noun
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with busy
In addition to the idioms beginning with busy
- busy as a beaver
- busy work
- get busy
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.