[buhk-suh m]


(of a woman) full-bosomed.
(of a woman) healthy, plump, cheerful, and lively.

Origin of buxom

1125–75; Middle English, earlier buhsum pliant, equivalent to Old English būh (variant stem of būgan to bow1) + -sum -some1
Related formsbux·om·ly, adverbbux·om·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for buxom

Contemporary Examples of buxom

Historical Examples of buxom

  • She was English, and by nature, of a buxom figure and cheerful.

  • She was genial, buxom and apple-faced, as becomes a landlady.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • But the Peakes are happy, and the twins are growing up to be buxom children.

    Darry the Life Saver

    Frank V. Webster

  • It amused him to see the buxom women flagging the train at crossings.

    The Lure of the Mask

    Harold MacGrath

  • Buxom were Craigiebuckle's "dochters," and Jamie was Janet's accepted suitor.

    Auld Licht Idylls

    J. M. Barrie

British Dictionary definitions for buxom



(esp of a woman) healthily plump, attractive, and vigorous
(of a woman) full-bosomed
Derived Formsbuxomly, adverbbuxomness, noun

Word Origin for buxom

C12: buhsum compliant, pliant, from Old English būgan to bend, bow 1; related to Middle Dutch būchsam pliant, German biegsam
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 buxom

late 12c., buhsum "humble, obedient," from Proto-Germanic *buh- stem of Old English bugen "to bow" (see bow (v.)) + -som, for a total meaning "capable of being bent."

Meaning progressed from "compliant, obliging," through "lively, jolly," "healthily plump, vigorous," to (in women, and perhaps influenced by lusty) "plump, comely" (1580s). Used often of breasts, and by 1950s it had begun to be used more narrowly for "bosomy" and could be paired with slim (adj.). Dutch buigzaam, German biegsam "flexible, pliable" hew closer to the original sense of the English cognate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper