Nearby words

  1. buss,
  2. busse-buschke disease,
  3. bussell,
  4. busses,
  5. bussing,
  6. bust a gut,
  7. bust one's ass,
  8. bust-up,
  9. bustamante,
  10. bustamante, anastasio

Idioms

Origin of bust

2
1755–65; variant of burst, by loss of r before s, as in ass2, bass2, passel, etc.

Can be confusedburst burst (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

Historically bust is derived from a dialect pronunciation of burst and is related to it much as cuss is related to curse. Bust is both a noun and a verb and has a wide range of meanings for both uses. Many are slang or informal. A few, as “a decline in economic conditions, depression,” are standard.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for bust one's ass

bust

1

noun

the chest of a human being, esp a woman's bosom
a sculpture of the head, shoulders, and upper chest of a person

Word Origin for bust

C17: from French buste, from Italian busto a sculpture, of unknown origin

bust

2

verb busts, busting, busted or bust

to burst or break
to make or become bankrupt
(tr) (of the police) to raid, search, or arrestthe girl was busted for drugs
(tr) US and Canadian to demote, esp in military rank
(tr) US and Canadian to break or tame (a horse, etc)
(tr) mainly US to punch; hit
bust a gut See gut (def. 9)

noun

a raid, search, or arrest by the police
mainly US a punch; hit
US and Canadian a failure, esp a financial one; bankruptcy
a drunken party

adjective

broken
bankrupt
go bust to become bankrupt

Word Origin for bust

C19: from a dialect pronunciation of burst

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 bust one's ass
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with bust one's ass

bust one's ass

see break one's ass.

bust

In addition to the idioms beginning with bust

  • bust a gut
  • bust one's ass

also see:

  • break (bust) one's ass
  • go broke (bust)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.