Definition of busby in English:



  • 1A tall fur hat with a coloured cloth flap hanging down on the right-hand side and in some cases a plume on the top, worn by soldiers of certain regiments of hussars and artillerymen.

    • ‘From here you can walk to Amalienborg, the royal palace, the impressive buildings of which are patrolled by guards in busbies.’
    • ‘A busby, on the other hand, is a smaller helmet made of short fur with a small bag on the side, usually worn by hussars.’
    • ‘There was also a soldier's ceremonial busby cap.’
    • ‘You should really know your bearskin from your busby.’
    • ‘He became its regimental colonel, and even as a general often wore its uniform, with its death's-head badge on the busby.’
    1. 1.1
      popular term for bearskin (the cap)
      • ‘I was slightly startled to find myself walking a few paces behind a Guardsman in full Number 1 dress uniform, busby standing proud, and polished brass spurs on his boots.’
      • ‘Americans are suckers for pageantry and the media was happy to show shots of him surveying a row of busbies or chatting with the Queen.’
      • ‘A bandsman from the Coldstream Guards displays his busby.’
      • ‘The towering black hat, or busby, dates back almost 200 years to the Battle of Waterloo and is a key part of the uniform of the five guards' regiments - the Coldstream, Grenadier, Irish, Scots and Welsh.’


Mid 18th century (denoting a large bushy wig): of unknown origin.