Main definitions of bustle in English

: bustle1bustle2

bustle1

verb

  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction Move in an energetic and busy manner.

    ‘people clutching clipboards bustled about’
    • ‘Busy Lizzy bustles about like a diligent char, or so you might assume until you have to remove it from a well-entrenched situation in a precious flower-bed.’
    • ‘He stopped in his tracks and looked around, a monstrous task with all the students bustling around him like busy bees.’
    • ‘Kisangani - The rising sun is already burning a brilliant path across the muddy vastness of the mighty Congo river as the group of busy women bustle around the night's catch.’
    • ‘Stevie Crawford, with 10 goals in 13 games to his credit, bustled energetically, twisting and turning the Morton defenders repeatedly.’
    • ‘After a little while the perky little maid bustled in carrying a flat black box tied with a red satin ribbon.’
    • ‘He opened and closed his eyes once, and Jamison bustled off to get the medication, and Nelson moved to the bedside again.’
    • ‘Old-fashioned bread pudding served with caramel or lemon sauce is a dessert that brings back memories of mother bustling around in the kitchen.’
    • ‘Other players were bustling about in the busy streets, talking with one another and buying items at the stores.’
    • ‘The clock struck time and everyone started to bustle and move to find classes.’
    • ‘Eventually she let him go, bustling around her kitchen, keeping busy.’
    • ‘And the nurse bustled off towards the other side of the room, busying herself with something else.’
    • ‘Disguised as Elaine C Smith, Mother Goose herself bustled in the stage door clutching a caffe latte less than half an hour ago.’
    • ‘All variety of servants bustled about in the sunlight, busy with errands and chores.’
    • ‘Her heart monitor went crazy and soon nurses and doctors were bustling in checking her pulse and vital signals.’
    • ‘Of course, there were bed curtains, which the nursing staff seemed to draw with a particularly energetic flourish whenever they bustled in with a bedpan.’
    • ‘Whispers were abounded and people were moving, bustling, hustling, everywhere.’
    • ‘Evangeline bustled down the hallway, clutching a fistful of bright red roses for her altar, as Fabian ran past her.’
    • ‘Instantly, as if fearing reprisals, she lowered her head in a respectable, subservient manner and said nothing more as she bustled toward the door.’
    • ‘Bubbly, cheery people would be bustling around buying gifts, making dinners, taking their lovers out.’
    • ‘Men bustle to and fro with clipboards, impatiently awaiting the departure of the Greek fleet.’
    rush, dash, scurry, scuttle, scamper, scramble, flutter, fuss
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Cause to move hurriedly in a particular direction.
      ‘she bustled us into the kitchen’
      • ‘He was bustled into a car, covered with a carpet and driven to a guardhouse.’
      • ‘Harps striker Chris Breen bustled his way towards the box only to be impeded by the retreating Phillip Byrne.’
      • ‘Mr Gorbachev took several questions from the floor, before being bustled off in a people carrier to meet the Earl of Harewood for dinner.’
      • ‘Robbie Casey bustled his way to the by line before pull the ball back to present it on a plate for Maguire, 12 yards out.’
      • ‘Denis Behan was introduced and bustled his way through the game, making ribbons of Clive Delaney and reducing Derry's defence to a quivering wreck.’
      • ‘In a sense it's almost claustrophobic, with all the buildings huddled together and the people bustling their way through.’
      • ‘The nuns bustled Julie and her family down to the end of the furthest row, by the wall.’
      • ‘He told a few friends that he was considering bustling his way out of debt.’
      • ‘Jason Lewry, a left-arm swing bowler, is a canny operator and with hill and breeze supporting at Hove can hustle and bustle the ball through.’
      • ‘Substitute Steve Whitehall dived to head in Nuneaton's opener, but within a minute Darryn Stamp bustled his way through to lash in the leveller.’
      • ‘The opening exchanges saw Sandal's relatively small pack bustling York around, with aggressive close-quarter play.’
      • ‘Dillon and Mortimer looked dangerous but they would never bustle their way through for the goal that was needed.’
      • ‘It was exciting stuff, and two minutes later Kanoute bustled his way through before poking the ball wide to Cole.’
      • ‘But at dawn yesterday the police bustled her off, and there's been no word from her since.’
      • ‘Damien Curran managed to get a shot in after Barry Curran had bustled his way through, but he failed to test the keeper.’
      • ‘Instead, I was bustled into the tourist officer's car and taken to my hotel.’
      • ‘Two of my buddies in the class saw that I was close to exploding, and they were quicker than I. They grabbed me and bustled me right out of the class.’
      • ‘However, Worcester began to probe and bustle Magdalen's defence early in the second half.’
      • ‘The young Kilmarnock side were alternately being bustled out of possession and giving the ball away when they won it, which was surely the cause of Durrant's ire.’
      • ‘Douglas had one more special save to make as Spencer refused to capitulate, bustling his way into the box but it would not really have mattered as time ran out.’
      hustle, bundle, sweep, push, hurry, rush, whisk, whip
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2no object (of a place) be full of activity.
      ‘the streets bustled with people’
      ‘the bustling little town’
      • ‘It's built-up, it's busy and it's bustling, but I still reckon £250 for renting a little red hotel round here is a bit steep.’
      • ‘The room had been so busy and bustling, she'd hardly had a moment to sit down and think about her new station.’
      • ‘Astoria was particularly busy today, bustling with shoppers clamming to buy goods in the sales.’
      • ‘I'd still do it again though, which says a lot. the atmosphere is busy and bustling, but in a lovely way.’
      • ‘Though it was not the capital of the kingdom, it was just as busy and bustling as Damar.’
      • ‘It employed large numbers of small businesses and was always bustling and busy.’
      • ‘The house was busy, bustling with the men and women Poppa worked with or taught.’
      • ‘The tables that were usually busy and bustling with people were empty.’
      • ‘I came off one road and suddenly the streets were busy, bustling, crowded with people and carriages.’
      • ‘She looked around the busy, bustling, crowded Olympic Center.’
      • ‘Saturday mornings were usually busy and the park had always been hustling and bustling with morning walkers.’
      • ‘The town is presently prosperous, bustling and busy - let's keep it that way.’
      • ‘There were apartment houses on twisting narrow streets, bustling and busy.’
      • ‘The town was still in one piece, and the people were just as bustling and busy as ever.’
      • ‘The tavern was lively, bustling with movement and much drinking.’
      • ‘The town was bustling with activity as they prepared for the holiday season.’
      • ‘The heart of Baquba was bustling, shops were busy, there was a market and at an Iraqi police station, scores of young men waiting to enlist.’
      • ‘The Reddings House was indeed busy, bustling with servants, lost in a flurry of planning and preparation.’
      • ‘It was quiet and deserted accomplishing as much as it did when it was busy and bustling.’
      • ‘The ship was once again bustling with busy pirates moving and taking whatever they could.’
      • ‘It was busy and bustling with people rushing about to buy what they needed.’
      busy, crowded, swarming, teeming, full, astir, buzzing, hectic, lively, vibrant, thronging, thronged
      View synonyms

noun

mass noun
  • Excited activity and movement.

    ‘all the noise and the traffic and the bustle’
    • ‘Life today is a great sea of bustle and activity with everyone on the move.’
    • ‘I had a go at the frantic bustle and movement of the place - hence the sketch above - but that didn't really do it for me.’
    • ‘A bustle of activity met them at the bottom of the ladder.’
    • ‘Indeed, he said it was nice to arrive home, get away from the hustle and bustle of traffic, the chaotic bubble that is Dublin, and walk around in Rathvilly's quiet countryside.’
    • ‘It's a musical alcove independent of the traffic and bustle of everyday.’
    • ‘Soon the hall was all bustle and activity as men put out the tables and women prepared the food.’
    • ‘To him it was a happy sound, that bustle of activity that said his sons were going out to work.’
    • ‘A bustle of technology-related activity has made Iowa State one of the leaders in the emerging field of human computer interaction.’
    • ‘There is a need for them to move out of the hustle and bustle and beat the stress, preferably with family, as often as they can.’
    • ‘The new year came and went without the usual fluster and bustle of activity.’
    • ‘But despite all the uncertainty and bustle it seems, admittedly to an outsider, that the older generation is coping admirably.’
    • ‘When I was a youngster I used to hate it when my Mother dragged me round this place as it can get very busy and noisy, and the hustle and bustle I found to be claustraphobic.’
    • ‘After the usual bustle of activity that occurs every time a ship arrives in port, the crew turned their attention to exploring the delights of Singapore.’
    • ‘In the confined space of the houseboat, the hustle and bustle of excited children made it impossible for Lindsay Keating to unpack her shopping in a logical sequence.’
    • ‘Inside there was bustle and excited anticipatory chatter.’
    • ‘‘Ever since John died I became bored with the hustle and bustle of traffic,’ said Jennie, who lost her husband two years ago.’
    • ‘He sits, away from the hustle and bustle of on-field activity, coolly calculating the options.’
    • ‘The whole first act consists of the protesters' excitement and bustle as they get ready.’
    • ‘Moreover, the new bustle in activity is tightening up the slack in manufacturing.’
    • ‘The city was quiet, in the lull between the commotion and bustle of the day and the casual activity of night.’
    activity, hustle and bustle, animation, commotion, flurry, tumult, hubbub, busyness, action, liveliness, movement, life, stir, excitement, agitation, fuss, whirl
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: perhaps a variant of obsolete buskle, frequentative of busk ‘prepare’, from Old Norse.

Pronunciation

bustle

/ˈbʌs(ə)l/

Main definitions of bustle in English

: bustle1bustle2

bustle2

noun

historical
  • A pad or frame worn under a skirt and puffing it out behind.

    • ‘This staged cross-dressing was a great shock to audiences used to only seeing women on stage when they were hidden behind voluminous bustles, hoops and frills.’
    • ‘However, when fashion decreed crinolines, bustles, and fussy late-Victorian frills and flounces, Australia tried to follow.’
    • ‘All of the men had black hats, long black frock coats, and printed vests, while the ladies had their long gowns complete with bustles.’
    • ‘The women became blimps in massive gathered skirts, bustles and crinolines.’
    • ‘If you stand ten feet away, you might see men in top hats, women in long skirts and bustles, children, pets, shimmering water.’

Origin

Late 18th century: of unknown origin.

Pronunciation

bustle

/ˈbʌs(ə)l/