[ buhst ]
/ bʌst /
verb (used without object)
- to burst.
- to go bankrupt.
- to collapse from the strain of making a supreme effort: She was determined to make straight A's or bust.
- Draw Poker. to fail to make a flush or straight by one card.
- Blackjack. to draw cards exceeding the count of 21.
verb (used with object)
- to burst.
- to bankrupt; ruin financially.
to demote, especially in military rank or grade: He was busted from sergeant to private three times.
to tame; break: to bust a bronco.
- to place under arrest: The gang was busted and put away on narcotics charges.
- to subject to a police raid: The bar has been busted three times for selling drinks to minors.
- to hit.
- to break; fracture: She fell and busted her arm.
Informal. a hit; sock; punch: He got a bust in the nose before he could put up his hands.
a sudden decline in the economic conditions of a country, marked by an extreme drop in stock-market prices, business activity, and employment; depression.
- an arrest.
- a police raid.
Informal. a drinking spree; binge.
- a very weak hand.
- Bridge. a hand lacking the potential to take a single trick.
Informal. bankrupt; broke.
bust up, Informal.
- to break up; separate: Sam and his wife busted up a year ago.
- to damage or destroy: Soldiers got in a fight and busted up the bar.
Words nearby bust
Idioms for bust
- to attack physically; beat up.
- to criticize or reprimand harshly.
- to make fun of or laugh at; mock.
- to inform on.
bust ass, Slang: Vulgar. to fight with the fists; strike or thrash another.
bust on, Slang.
bust one's ass, Slang: Vulgar. to make an extreme effort; exert oneself.
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH bustburst burst (see usage note at the current entry)
usage note for bust
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. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for bust one's ass (1 of 2)
/ (bʌst) /
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
British Dictionary definitions for bust one's ass (2 of 2)
/ (bʌst) informal /
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)
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
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
Idioms and Phrases with bust one's ass (1 of 2)
bust one's ass
see break one's ass.
Idioms and Phrases with bust one's ass (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with bust
- bust a gut
- bust one's ass
- 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.