[ biz-ee-wurk ]
/ ˈbɪz iˌwɜrk /


work assigned for the sake of looking or keeping busy.

Nearby words

  1. busy signal,
  2. busy work,
  3. busy-work,
  4. busybody,
  5. busyness,
  6. but,
  7. but and ben,
  8. but for,
  9. but good,
  10. but-

Origin of busywork

First recorded in 1840–50; busy + work

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

Idioms and Phrases with busy work

busy work

Activity meant to take up time but not actually be productive. For example, We have to put in an eight-hour day, even if we do nothing but busy work. [c. 1840]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.