Main definitions of bust in English

: bust1bust2

bust1

noun

  • 1A woman's chest as measured around her breasts:

    ‘a 36-inch bust’
    • ‘Measure yourself first with a tape measure, your bust, waist, and hips, over your undergarments.’
    • ‘You can order something, buy it, and then it comes, and it's 50 times better than you thought it ever was, or it could be a big bust.’
    • ‘The study, published today in the British Medical Journal, used data included in the magazine covering height, weight and measurements for bust, waist and hip size.’
    • ‘Include your dress size, bust or chest size and shoe size.’
    • ‘A run on women's dresses at the local clothes shop - sizes 8 and 10, mostly, so I heard, big busts.’
    • ‘And she measured me - bust, waist, hips, inseam.’
    • ‘‘I'm only a 32B so having a bigger bust would make me feel happier in my clothes,’ she said.’
    • ‘So, if your ribcage measures 32 inches, your bust will be a 36.’
    • ‘While tags on Dunnes Stores' garments usually contain the bust, waist or hip measurements, most of the dimensions had to be gleaned from sizing charts on various retailers' websites.’
    • ‘Imagine you completely mess up her measurements and overestimate her bust or waist?’
    • ‘She revealed her new 34JJ bust last Saturday on Cosmetic Surgery Live, shown on Five.’
    • ‘For 25% of volunteers there was an average inch loss of up to 1 inch from the torso measurements including the bust, waist and hips.’
    chest, bosom, breasts
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A woman's breasts, especially considered in terms of their size:
      ‘a woman with big hips and a big bust’
      • ‘From a lift in the bust to a trimmer behind, some of this plus size sexy lingerie is a work of art and most of the fabrics on today's market are truly effective and extremely comfortable.’
      • ‘The beautiful actress had her bust size reduced from a massive 34DD to a 34D because she was sick of men leering over them.’
      • ‘She finally chose a cheetah top that fit closely and showed off her small stomach and made her bust look bigger.’
      • ‘For dresses, blouses, tops, vests, jackets and coats choose the pattern size by the bust or upper-bust measurement.’
      • ‘It was a little big around the bust but looked rather nice on me.’
      • ‘‘She's around here somewhere,’ he replied, looking over to a horribly dressed girl with a big bust.’
      • ‘It's a particularly good shape to wear if you have a bigger bust.’
      • ‘Gabe sat up rigidly and attempted to help Sara through a frame that was about two sizes too small for someone with as impressive of a bust as her.’
      • ‘Due to increased bust and nipple size, I removed them at the end of my first trimester.’
      • ‘A note about the boys at our school, they like girls with big busts more than girls who don't have one at all.’
      • ‘She will not wear an outfit unless her bust is busting out and over, even in the dead of winter.’
      • ‘But, I can't wear dresses with a deep V-neck or a seam under the bust because I have no chest!’
      • ‘If your bust measurement is a full size larger or smaller than the pattern, blend the adjustment line from the waistline to the bustline of the next size.’
      • ‘Secondly, to get your correct cup measurement: With your bra on, measure loosely around the fullest part of your bust.’
      • ‘The 19-year-old from Withington is waiting to finish university before having a bust enhancement.’
      • ‘But the products are expected to be snapped up by even more women keen to increase the size of their bust.’
      • ‘It was a beautiful dress with a band of deep purple lining where the bust should end.’
      • ‘I wasn't a fitness model, and I didn't have a big bust.’
      • ‘We are all beautiful in our own way and don't even realise it, you don't have to be thin with big busts to make it in the world or even just to feel good.’
      • ‘We may be dismayed that a 15-year-old feels her sense of worth rests on the size of her bust, but haven't 15-year-old girls always felt like this?’
      chest, bosom, breasts
      View synonyms
  • 2A sculpture of a person's head, shoulders, and chest.

    • ‘The room was decorated with fine eighteenth century art, sculptures and busts of previous political figures.’
    • ‘I was concentrating on a sculpted bust that had caught my eye, a familiar one, worked by a familiar hand.’
    • ‘Noble sentiment orchestrates the canvas, which was executed for the subject of the sculpted bust on the pedestal, Dr. Upton Scott.’
    • ‘The busts feel sculptural and classical; the painting seems like an homage to a monumental past.’
    • ‘Sculptures, moulds, busts, dentures, imprints and masks of Washington's face and body will be scanned with lasers.’
    • ‘Now the sculptor who made the bust is working on a statue of Nelson Mandela based on that visit to Bedford.’
    • ‘The monumental bust, The Last Roman, looks on accusingly.’
    • ‘Casters make commemorative or memorial busts and figures specially ordered and designed by clients.’
    • ‘Little is known of the obscure sculptor who executed the bust.’
    • ‘The Brock Prize consists of $40,000 cash and a sculpted bust of Sequoyah, the only person known to have created an alphabet.’
    • ‘He became, after Nollekens, the most successful sculptor of portrait busts in England.’
    • ‘His architectural sculpture and terra-cotta portrait busts of leading citizens were much admired in their day.’
    • ‘Although he made some figures in his earlier idiom, his later sculptures were mainly portrait busts.’
    • ‘One can discern in the mirror other objects in the room such an end table, a sculpted bust, an oil lamp, an oval portrait and a grandfather clock.’
    • ‘More than 70 marble, bronze, terracotta and plaster busts and life-size sculptures are on display together for the first time in nearly two centuries.’
    • ‘One is of a pair of figures from the shoulders up, looking at two sculpted busts that are, in shape and composition, an exact repetition of themselves.’
    • ‘It was this picture that formed the basis for American sculptor Paul Granlund's busts of Ramanujan, created in 1987 for the Ramanujan Centennial Year.’
    • ‘The bust was sculpted by internationally-renowned figurative artist Ian Walters.’
    • ‘Next she proceeds to the major works of art like sculpted statues and busts that have been identified as this woman and finally to a briefer look at minor artworks such as cameos.’
    • ‘But I knew they existed, all right - and not just plaques and statues but even a bust in Westminster Abbey.’
    sculpture, carving, effigy, three-dimensional representation
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century (denoting the upper part or torso of a large sculpture): from French buste, from Italian busto, from Latin bustum tomb, sepulchral monument.

Pronunciation:

bust

/bʌst/

Main definitions of bust in English

: bust1bust2

bust2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • 1Break, split, or burst:

    ‘they bust the tunnel wide open’
    figurative ‘the film bust every box office record’
    [no object] ‘the colour control had bust’
    • ‘At least once a week, Cory Schlesinger must have his face mask replaced because he either snaps the posts or busts the welds.’
    • ‘The new techniques combine the use of clot busting drugs with clot macerating devices to break up the clot in the leg.’
    • ‘I've split my lip and busted my eyebrow, but luckily I haven't broken any bones.’
    • ‘The bottle busted and up burst a huge puff of milky white smoke.’
    • ‘I fell, and broke my leg in two places, and completely busted my wrist.’
    • ‘One myth I would like to bust is that PR is a measure of a web site.’
    • ‘Their shows suck, their toys bust too easily and games nowadays just don't have the same imagination.’
    • ‘A sport where the record busting efforts of yesteryear are now are much fewer and farther between, with more people running slower or even jumping or throwing less than they used to?’
    • ‘When this drug comes across a clot or a fat deposit it busts it clean away.’
    • ‘Already he's five ahead of where the Cardinals man was when he busted Babe Ruth's 34-year record.’
    • ‘Reich can take some of the credit for busting the stranglehold on the 20th century of atonal music, which he calls a red herring; he describes listening to such work as akin to taking a bitter pill.’
    • ‘Then one night, a soldier busts my front door in, drunk from the victory parties.’
    • ‘An emphatic ‘no,’ we discover - busting a generic stereotype wide open.’
    • ‘He didn't waste time trying to pick the lock, he busted the door in one burst of adrenalin.’
    • ‘Council house rents in Rotherham are to rise by an average of 5.5 per cent - an inflation busting increase on the heels of an 8.3 per cent rise last year.’
    • ‘For those who cannot afford the machines, Mr Saville recommended practical allergy busting solutions like vacuuming mattresses, pillow covers and sheets to kill the dust mites.’
    • ‘Senior officers from across the authority have now been asked to find more than £3 million of savings to avoid busting the budget and redundancies are expected.’
    • ‘They would need to bust the enemy lines wide open.’
    • ‘Only broken furniture, busted doorways, and bloodstains.’
    • ‘You skip around the back and quietly encourage the locks to take a break, while I bust the front door lock.’
    break, crack, snap, fracture, shatter, smash, smash to smithereens, fragment, splinter
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1bust up[no object] (of a group or couple) separate, typically after a quarrel:
      ‘now they've bust up, she won't inherit the house’
      • ‘All three, moreover, are certain that Eliska is just after mom's dough, so they conspire to bust up the couple, eventually and alarmingly concluding that one of them should bed mom's girlfriend.’
      • ‘There were all kinds of dances that got busted up by the police, but I'd have to say that getting married at Sugar Minott's Youth Promotion studios was quite memorable.’
      • ‘She looked quite good, which is nice as her and her partner of many years busted up recently after a succession of late night screaming matches that clearly penetrated the floor/ceiling separating our respective flats.’
      • ‘Spain announced that it had busted up and arrested members of a terrorist group that recruited young Muslim men in Europe to go as fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq.’
      • ‘One wonders how an ad might read when the relationship inevitably busts up.’
      • ‘They have seized companies run by mobsters in the drywall, window-replacement, and painting industries to bust up cartels.’
      • ‘No, we don't get to see anybody go on an LSD trip, and no, the Hell's Angels don't arrive to bust up the party, but the play is just as, if not more, entertaining all the same.’
      • ‘I got a big head and couldn't handle it, then my marriage busted up and I almost went nuts.’
      • ‘Another chance to bust up the happy couple is thrown away.’
      • ‘Once, in the Phillips neighborhood, Shiz says, he was hanging out and smoking pot in a friend's backyard when cops busted up the gathering and encouraged a rookie to beat him up.’
      • ‘We show you how to keep your pal's prying eyes from your paper… without busting up the friendship.’
    2. 1.2 Violently disrupt:
      ‘men hired to bust up union rallies’
      • ‘By making it hard for us to unionize these workers, they are showing that they want to bust the union.’
      • ‘Last week the company announced that managers would be called on to drive buses, with a free service offered in an attempt to bust the strike.’
      • ‘They are clearly seeking to bust the unions in a state that is already less than 4 percent unionized.’
      • ‘The government should revise its definition of anti-social behaviour and target crimes such as war, racism, corporate greed, environmental abuse, union busting, civil rights abuses, and arms dealing.’
      • ‘We are sending a loud and clear message: ‘Union busting no way!’’
      • ‘The system hummed along for the best part of 100 years delivering practical outcomes with bipartisan support until the neo-conservative ethos of union busting was imported into this country.’
      • ‘And are there factions within business who don't embrace the union busting agenda that we can work with constructively?’
      • ‘The only way to bust a union is to lie, distort, manipulate, threaten, and always, always attack.’
      • ‘Australian government incites company action to bust steel strike’
      • ‘They are also protesting the company's union busting tactics.’
      • ‘The company is refusing to bargain in good faith with the union and trying to bust it by preventing a first contract.’
      • ‘But even if it doubles and it's every five years you have still got the question of what happens if the factory tries to bust the union between the five-year period.’
      • ‘They have used globalization of the economy to bust unions, to keep wages low, to keep benefits low, and that's had an impact on a lot of workers.’
      • ‘By federalizing the workforce, the government was also, in effect, busting those unions and tearing up their newly won contracts.’
      • ‘It's certainly ironic that the ultimate union-buster has been ambushed by another powerful exercise in union busting, albeit one more subtly executed without dogs and balaclavas.’
      • ‘The memo tries to make inspectors, in effect, the ‘eyes and ears’ of the government's strike and solidarity busting operation.’
    3. 1.3North American Strike violently:
      ‘Tamara bust him in the eye’
      • ‘He needs some nurturing as he got in a fight at work last night and now has a smashed nose and busted up lip.’
      • ‘His nose had dried blood all over it, and his lips were busted open.’
      • ‘I don't remember sitting down. Unfortunately, my blankets protect me and I do not bust my head open on the bed post.’
      • ‘Gabrielle felt tears of pain well up in her eyes as her lip was busted open.’
      • ‘I saw him literally bust one guy in half with shots to the body.’
      • ‘Someone busted his forehead open with a car stereo; another rioter tried to slice his ear off.’
      • ‘Talk then shifted to the big chair shot he took from Credible that busted him open pretty bad, leaving a big dent in his head.’
      • ‘Maybe I busted my lip open last night when I collapsed on the floor.’
      • ‘I was so angry, I could have busted his knee cap, broken his jaw, and broken his arms, but I controlled myself.’
      • ‘Passport control officers entered the train, and immediately started busting the chops of everyone in our cabin.’
      • ‘Caleb twisted himself around once more and kicked Riley in the face, slipping open his lips and busting his nose, causing blood to spill forth from each orifice.’
      • ‘It bothered him a great deal that I would want to be with Marcus more then him and he made it a game to taunt at me about my past until I didn't know whether to burst into tears or bust his nose.’
      • ‘He then began hitting himself, and busted himself open hardway.’
      • ‘He then pounded Eddie some more busting him open and left in the low rider.’
    4. 1.4bust out[no object] Escape:
      ‘she busted out of prison’
      • ‘So I've decided that if I ever go to jail, I am definitely busting out!’
      • ‘A soldier busts out of an outpost and you gun him down before he can do the same to you.’
      • ‘Most certainly, this dainty little madam busted out of garden cultivation to spread fast and loose.’
      • ‘A serial bank robber busts out of prison, with a federal cop as an accidental hostage.’
      • ‘We're talking about you busting out of habitual patterns, bailing on projects that have lost their luster.’
      • ‘Later in 1916 he busts out of a German PoW camp.’
      • ‘‘My chest was busting out of my shirt when I teed off on that first hole at the Solheim Cup because it's such a great thrill to represent your country,’ she claimed.’
      • ‘I want to lose this covering of fat and see some muscle busting out!’
      • ‘In the last few years, as they did in the late '60s and '80s, comics have once again busted out of their relegated spot in the cultural margins.’
      • ‘Can you bust out of a jail cell with dynamite?’
      • ‘With the rainy season soon about to be busting out all over, however, he is likely to have other, equally urgent, priorities thrust upon him.’
      • ‘I think it's so wonderful that this is what's busting out.’
      • ‘Every baby I would swaddle would end up busting out of his bundle and crying his damn little head off, limbs flailing and clawing at the air.’
    5. 1.5[no object] (in blackjack and similar card games) exceed the score of 21, so losing one's stake.
      • ‘If you're playing first base and you bust or get a Blackjack, don't wait for the other hands to be completed to have a completed count.’
      • ‘Won all four hands when the dealer busted after I split a pair of 8s, resplit and resplit again.’
      • ‘Solid citizens with stiffs don't lose any worse if a 17 is improved, and there seems to be a good chance that the dealer, drawing, will bust and pay everyone.’
      • ‘Note that if the player busts he loses, even if the dealer also busts (therefore Blackjack favors the dealer).’
      • ‘Seems staying pat and not busting, especially with a 16 against a seven, is the smarter play.’
  • 2North American (of the police) raid or search (premises where illegal activity is suspected):

    ‘my flat got busted’
    • ‘How much advance fee loan scams take in is not known - one London-based scheme that police busted last year may have netted millions over several years.’
    • ‘We have heard that the first clan-labs were busted by the police in about 1998.’
    • ‘If he isn't, why do the police keep busting his home?’
    • ‘He was on the run after Singapore police busted an earlier plot to bomb Western embassies there.’
    • ‘On February 10, 2000, Montreal police busted the club.’
    • ‘Immigration police last week busted an international drug ring operating out of Naklua, arresting five people, two Thais and three Malaysians.’
    • ‘A few months ago, the cops busted an illegal numbers operation - the local Mafia's preferred racket these days - a few miles up the street from Vesuvio's.’
    • ‘Armed police have busted two drug houses just metres from two Bay school playgrounds - seizing 200 cannabis plants and making five arrests.’
    • ‘McCloy's short, but fascinating piece documents the events of one fateful night when a gig is busted by the police.’
    • ‘The site was apparently part of a organisation busted by police.’
    • ‘In August 2001, the Delhi Police busted an international illegal exchange in Jasola Vihar.’
    • ‘This was an unusual investigation because most meth labs aren't busted by good police work.’
    • ‘It seems unbelievable to Shafer that there could be dozens of active stash houses without the police busting them all.’
    • ‘Back in 1996 we saw the first clandestine P laboratory busted by the police.’
    • ‘Presumably the local sausage pusher whom they buy from keeps getting busted by the police for selling sausages to children, or something.’
    • ‘Whether the police actually busted the premises, remains unknown.’
    • ‘She was later released, then arrested again (along with a dozen others) when police busted a house orgy a week later.’
    • ‘After watching seven performers perform, police busted a sex show in North Pattaya, arresting all seven performers and the venue's manager.’
    • ‘When police busted the home they found much of the operation had been taken down.’
    • ‘The Club was busted by police in the early '80s, something which heralded its demise.’
    raid, search, make a search of, swoop on, make a raid on
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Arrest:
      ‘two roadies were busted for drugs’
      • ‘A few weeks ago, he was busted for possession of marijuana at school.’
      • ‘Employees at a morgue in India have been busted for allowing local traders to store fish (meant for consumption) in among their dead bodies.’
      • ‘They are undercover police officers trying to bust drug smugglers.’
      • ‘Remember when we got busted by the Park Ranger for putting our raft in the retention pond?’
      • ‘A couple of employees in the postal dept. have already been busted for taking out credit cards in student and faculty names.’
      • ‘Around that time, he was busted for possession of marijuana and spent two years in prison.’
      • ‘He was busted for using fake checks to buy pizzas, but they knew if they could just identify him, he'd be good for a lot more crime across the country.’
      • ‘The film is based on the story of a drug dealer, who's busted by the cops early in the film for having a couch full of illegal substances.’
      • ‘A respected art dealer is busted for selling a Cheyenne war bonnet.’
      • ‘Not testing is cheaper and easier than testing, and your athletes are much less likely to be busted for doping.’
      • ‘One third of Canadians arrested abroad were busted for drugs, making it the most commonly prosecuted offence.’
      • ‘Inspector Minks, who busted him at an illegal rave for drugs possession, has other ideas.’
      • ‘They had seen sketchy reports in that morning's newspapers of a musician being busted for possession of drugs.’
      • ‘In December, 1999, Gaffney was busted for stealing some cash and a gold watch.’
      • ‘DEA agents sometimes pose as chemical salesmen in order to bust suspected ecstasy cooks.’
      • ‘He was busted for smuggling the stuff in January 2000.’
      • ‘The police busted them for squatting within a fortnight.’
      • ‘His parents cut him off financially when he told them he'd been busted for drugs.’
      • ‘Do you want to be busted for drugs by a dog that isn't properly trained?’
    2. 2.2be/get busted Be caught in the act of doing something wrong:
      ‘I sneaked up on them and told them they were busted’
    3. 2.3US Reduce (a soldier) to a lower rank; demote:
      ‘he was busted to private’
      • ‘Billy has observed this and gets busted in rank for slugging Capt. Hanks at a formal ball one night.’
      • ‘He gets busted down to the ranks for accidentally winging a hostage.’
      • ‘Now, even though no one was hurt, there was talk of busting him down to private.’
      • ‘First you go get yourself a silver star, then you get busted to private.’
      • ‘Eastwood plays ex-Lieutenant Kelly, who was busted down to private as a scapegoat for a failed mission.’
      • ‘That soldier had already been busted to El and was on the short list for an administrative discharge.’

noun

informal
  • 1A period of economic difficulty or depression:

    ‘the boom was followed by the present bust’
    • ‘And how bad would the tech bust have been if the bubble hadn't been so big?’
    • ‘It is a cynical camouflage for problems caused by the boom and bust rhythm of capitalism, and the bosses' insistence that profits come before people.’
    • ‘But as some economists have pointed out: the longer the boom, the bigger the bust.’
    • ‘Cold Wars, Hot Wars, economic booms and busts, the rapacious scramble for resources: we hear the warnings of countries, the shouts of other countries in greedy triumph.’
    • ‘Big bucks can make for a big bang, but they can all to easily lead to a big bust.’
    • ‘And the bust is a period of stagnation and destruction.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the French and the Dutch probably haven't done done us Yanks any big favor, since the eventual bust is likely to be proportional to the size of the bubble.’
    • ‘We are not in recovery; it is nothing more than a little boom that ultimately will turn into a bigger bust.’
    • ‘Chinese authorities, however, believe that they can stage an orderly deflation of the bubble and thereby prevent an economic bust.’
    • ‘More recently we have relied on consumer spending to prop up the economy during the bust.’
    • ‘As we explain on page 8, what has happened is a classic example of the boom to bust cycle built into capitalism.’
    • ‘It flames it, it makes the bigger booms and busts.’
    • ‘The bust remained a bust, and no amount of money magic could restart the boom.’
    • ‘Likewise recessions or economic busts are set in motion if people suddenly change their psychology and stop spending.’
    • ‘Consequently, this leads to a fall in real output, i.e., to an economic bust.’
    • ‘Economic cycles follow a pattern; the most basic pattern is boom, bust, boom, bust.’
    • ‘Your correspondent is old enough to have actually participated in the economic booms and busts of the last 40 odd years, housing included.’
    • ‘From Bangkok to Boston, it is under close global focus as pundits search for signs of the next big bust.’
    • ‘This pool of finance has over the years been increasingly funneled into speculative channels, fueling refashioned booms and busts around the globe.’
    • ‘It's only common sense to pay off our debts before the next big bust.’
  • 2A raid or arrest by the police:

    ‘a drug bust’
    • ‘When the day's bust is complete, police have arrested three men in front of Sun Pay.’
    • ‘During the bust, police seized three kilograms of cocaine having an estimated street value of $255,000.’
    • ‘The bust was made after police received a tip from the public.’
    • ‘The current rash of raids and busts on bars that showcase objectionable entertainment is making some of our tourists itch.’
    • ‘There have also been big busts, however, in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Malawi, Nigeria and Tanzania.’
    • ‘How to fight back against a bad bust or police harassment was something that he and fellow musicians had been discussing for years.’
    • ‘Police have arrested an alleged key member of a drug syndicate after the biggest cocaine bust in Hong Kong's history.’
    • ‘‘The five tons of cocaine seized in this operation is one of the largest busts in the police history,’ Pardew said.’
    • ‘In addition to last April's bust, Hengchun police said last summer they also arrested drug users at Baishawan, a secluded beach they believe to be a favorite spot for ecstasy users.’
    • ‘When a cornered drug dealer aims his pistol at the officers during a bust, they return fire, killing him instantly.’
    • ‘A suspected drug dealer was arrested during a dawn raid on his house, the latest in a series of weekly busts by Merton police.’
    • ‘The Tasty Bust Reunion also features ten years since the famous police bust in Melbourne.’
    • ‘If the big guy isn't caught, the bust does very little to end his drug operation.’
    • ‘He was also usually the one who got in the police's way when they were trying to make a bust.’
    • ‘In the ensuing media fracas, McAvoy's bust has rivalled Jordan's for the number of column inches generated.’
    • ‘She says immigrant women would be reluctant to trust an agency that accompanies police on busts.’
    • ‘Three senior Victorian drug squad detectives and one of their wives, also a police officer, allegedly used money confiscated during heroin busts to fund the purchase of cars, boats, property and cattle.’
    • ‘The police bust that scuppered the alleged plans followed a tip-off from a member of the public at about 8pm on Monday.’
    • ‘And isn't it true that some of the biggest busts have related to people who exchanged this type of material via email or through websites?’
    • ‘Another scene shows how that balance can be thrown off by a surprise police bust.’
  • 3A worthless thing:

    ‘cynics remain convinced the political process is a bust’
    • ‘The biggest early bust of the college basketball season?’
    • ‘They are reasonable choices, but if you want the biggest bust, he has to be it.’
    • ‘We all know Kwame Brown is a bust on the court.’
    • ‘The biggest bust might be this player, whom the Jets grabbed with the first pick of the second round.’
    • ‘And her last Tupperware party on Valentine's Day was a big bust.’
    • ‘Face it, he isn't a bust on the level of Kevin Brown or Carl Pavano obviously, but he isn't what people were expecting.’
    • ‘Mechanical failure made Wednesday and the rest of the week a bust for work, opening a surprise dead spot in my schedule.’
    • ‘Between 1990 and 2000, 12 of the 21 quarterbacks taken in the first round were busts, by my definition of the term.’
    • ‘There is no pressure for him to succeed, for the consensus is that he's one of the biggest first-round busts in recent memory.’
    • ‘On the other hand the big bang has been turning out to be a big bust.’
    • ‘Rice obviously isn't the player he was in Miami or Charlotte, and the big contract New York gave him looks like a long-term bust.’
    • ‘Will the aforementioned ex-Browns D-linemen pan out or stay mired in bust status?’
    • ‘He has been the biggest bust after starring for the Padres.’
    • ‘Here is a look at this year's potential first-round receivers, with their chances of being an NFL bust denoted by a risk factor.’
    • ‘The team expects bigger things from LHP Ricardo Rincon, a major bust last season after he was acquired from Pittsburgh for OF Brian Giles.’
    • ‘After being baseball's biggest bust, the Cubs shook things up by firing their third base coach.’
    • ‘Or will Brown continue to be one of the league's biggest busts?’
    • ‘He would have been the biggest bust on this side of sector nine, but he got away.’
    • ‘He will be the biggest bust of the 2005 season.’
    • ‘The biggest bust of the 2002 draft barely plays and pretty much has turned teams off of European mystery men.’
  • 4North American A violent blow:

    ‘a bust on the snout’
    • ‘And a bust on the chops (for I would let him take the first swing) would be absolutely worth it if he got put away.’
    • ‘"Crazy as a loon!" said the big tunnel worker, and that got him a bust on the nose.’

adjective

informal
  • 1British Damaged or broken:

    ‘the vacuum cleaner's bust’
    • ‘Blood spurted out of his bust lip, and Jameson lifted his finger to it.’
    • ‘Her face was bleeding with a bust lip and swollen eye.’
    • ‘If you want to replace busted Volvo lights, service tool kit can help you do the job without a fuss.’
    • ‘Even the bust radio and lost radar bleeps sinking in the fluid can't pull it from its descent into something wetter than electronics.’
    • ‘Louise struggles with the car door before remembering about the bust lock, before remembering about leaving the door open.’
    • ‘A couple of the white guys had black eyes or a bust lip.’
    • ‘Only there were no-one else around, just Michael and me, and poor ole Pete on the floor nursing a bust lip.’
    • ‘This, incidentally, is also the case if you do a ‘repair’ to fix a bust system - not exactly friendly.’
    • ‘It's about being stuck in the sticks with a bust radio, a girl called Megan and some wolfy things in the woodshed.’
    • ‘She started me, I jumped up, I got one of my dizzy spells, and she gave me a bust lip and probably a black eye.’
    • ‘The wakeful partner looks as if she was constructed piecemeal, again with a bust pendant from her broad shoulders.’
    • ‘With one punch I was on the floor with a bust nose.’
  • 2Bankrupt:

    ‘six of their sponsors have gone bust’
    • ‘However, all lenders are ranked before shareholders so if a company does go bust it is rare for shareholders to get much money back.’
    • ‘The inflated value of the peso helped maintain an illusion of prosperity long after the economic boom had gone bust.’
    • ‘But even success-only fee lawyers will find it difficult to act for a bust business.’
    • ‘After all what is the value of a bust recruitment company with no contracts?’
    • ‘I think New York has so many tunnels due to a subway craze at the turn of the century and when the bubble burst and the companies went bust the tunnels got sealed off.’
    • ‘It's rare that an airline will go bust overnight, but it's still a good idea to know your options.’
    • ‘Liverpool went bust because its economy depended on the docks, and it was on the wrong side of the country for trade with Europe.’
    • ‘The technology and computer sector recorded 27 failures, while 27 bars, restaurants and food outlets also went bust during the period.’
    • ‘That meant big firms going bust, others scrapping investment plans, and others consolidating their operations in their countries of origin.’
    • ‘The company went bust with 30,000 people losing their jobs and £40 million of debt.’
    • ‘The survey revealed firms in Scotland are nearly half as likely to go bust than their English counterparts.’
    • ‘Many companies have gone bust because they have failed to do so.’
    • ‘It's the fact that the heady rush of patriotism helps mask the hangover of a bubble economy gone bust.’
    • ‘But then again how many businesses are going bust right now because they can't get the right people because they can't face the commute?’
    • ‘It's a pretty unpleasant experience when a company you've invested in goes bust and you lose your entire investment.’
    • ‘The directors of a bust Hampshire dealership have been charged with supplying counterfeit software to more than half of the UK's police forces.’
    • ‘Most major accountancy firms believe any SPL club consistently paying more than 60% of turnover on wages run the risk of going bust.’
    • ‘If the Government hadn't reversed some of the Bacon measures in the Budget, building firms would have gone bust by now.’
    • ‘If police forces were to go bust, Lancashire would be one of them.’
    • ‘So why is California, with its $1.3 trillion economy, going bust?’
    fail, collapse, crash, go under, founder, be ruined, cave in
    go bankrupt, become insolvent, cease trading, go into receivership, go into liquidation, be liquidated, be wound up
    go broke, go bump, go to the wall, go belly up, come a cropper, flop, flatline
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • —— or bust

    • Used to indicate that a supreme effort will be made to achieve the stated goal, with utter failure as the only alternative:

      ‘it's gold medal or bust for both of our basketball teams’
      ‘tomorrow's game is quite simply win or bust for both teams’
      • ‘He admitted to thinking it was all or bust after losing the 192 points from the Queensland round.’
      • ‘After a year of programming, he decided it was Wall Street or bust.’
      • ‘This game had been billed as win or bust.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, the industry has adopted the unsustainable "blockbuster or bust" business model.’
      • ‘It looked like a case of promotion or bust.’

Origin

Mid 18th century (originally US, as a noun in the sense ‘an act of bursting or splitting’): variant of burst.

Pronunciation:

bust

/bʌst/