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’
    • ‘Eventually she let him go, bustling around her kitchen, keeping busy.’
    • ‘Men bustle to and fro with clipboards, impatiently awaiting the departure of the Greek fleet.’
    • ‘He stopped in his tracks and looked around, a monstrous task with all the students bustling around him like busy bees.’
    • ‘Bubbly, cheery people would be bustling around buying gifts, making dinners, taking their lovers out.’
    • ‘All variety of servants bustled about in the sunlight, busy with errands and chores.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Other players were bustling about in the busy streets, talking with one another and buying items at the stores.’
    • ‘Whispers were abounded and people were moving, bustling, hustling, everywhere.’
    • ‘He opened and closed his eyes once, and Jamison bustled off to get the medication, and Nelson moved to the bedside again.’
    • ‘After a little while the perky little maid bustled in carrying a flat black box tied with a red satin ribbon.’
    • ‘Stevie Crawford, with 10 goals in 13 games to his credit, bustled energetically, twisting and turning the Morton defenders repeatedly.’
    • ‘Disguised as Elaine C Smith, Mother Goose herself bustled in the stage door clutching a caffe latte less than half an hour ago.’
    • ‘Evangeline bustled down the hallway, clutching a fistful of bright red roses for her altar, as Fabian ran past her.’
    • ‘The clock struck time and everyone started to bustle and move to find classes.’
    • ‘Her heart monitor went crazy and soon nurses and doctors were bustling in checking her pulse and vital signals.’
    • ‘Old-fashioned bread pudding served with caramel or lemon sauce is a dessert that brings back memories of mother bustling around in the kitchen.’
    • ‘And the nurse bustled off towards the other side of the room, busying herself with something else.’
    • ‘Instantly, as if fearing reprisals, she lowered her head in a respectable, subservient manner and said nothing more as she bustled toward the door.’
    • ‘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.’
    rush, dash, scurry, scuttle, scamper, scramble, flutter, fuss
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    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Cause to move hurriedly in a particular direction.
      ‘she bustled us into the kitchen’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was exciting stuff, and two minutes later Kanoute bustled his way through before poking the ball wide to Cole.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, Worcester began to probe and bustle Magdalen's defence early in the second half.’
      • ‘In a sense it's almost claustrophobic, with all the buildings huddled together and the people bustling their way through.’
      • ‘Harps striker Chris Breen bustled his way towards the box only to be impeded by the retreating Phillip Byrne.’
      • ‘But at dawn yesterday the police bustled her off, and there's been no word from her since.’
      • ‘He was bustled into a car, covered with a carpet and driven to a guardhouse.’
      • ‘Damien Curran managed to get a shot in after Barry Curran had bustled his way through, but he failed to test the keeper.’
      • ‘The opening exchanges saw Sandal's relatively small pack bustling York around, with aggressive close-quarter play.’
      • ‘Instead, I was bustled into the tourist officer's car and taken to my hotel.’
      • ‘Dillon and Mortimer looked dangerous but they would never bustle their way through for the goal that was needed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mr Gorbachev took several questions from the floor, before being bustled off in a people carrier to meet the Earl of Harewood for dinner.’
      hustle, bundle, sweep, push, hurry, rush, whisk, whip
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    2. 1.2no object (of a place) be full of activity.
      ‘the streets bustled with people’
      • ‘There were apartment houses on twisting narrow streets, bustling and busy.’
      • ‘Though it was not the capital of the kingdom, it was just as busy and bustling as Damar.’
      • ‘I came off one road and suddenly the streets were busy, bustling, crowded with people and carriages.’
      • ‘The ship was once again bustling with busy pirates moving and taking whatever they could.’
      • ‘The town is presently prosperous, bustling and busy - let's keep it that way.’
      • ‘It was quiet and deserted accomplishing as much as it did when it was busy and bustling.’
      • ‘I'd still do it again though, which says a lot. the atmosphere is busy and bustling, but in a lovely way.’
      • ‘Saturday mornings were usually busy and the park had always been hustling and bustling with morning walkers.’
      • ‘The tables that were usually busy and bustling with people were empty.’
      • ‘The Reddings House was indeed busy, bustling with servants, lost in a flurry of planning and preparation.’
      • ‘The house was busy, bustling with the men and women Poppa worked with or taught.’
      • ‘It employed large numbers of small businesses and was always bustling and busy.’
      • ‘It was busy and bustling with people rushing about to buy what they needed.’
      • ‘The town was bustling with activity as they prepared for the holiday season.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Astoria was particularly busy today, bustling with shoppers clamming to buy goods in the sales.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She looked around the busy, bustling, crowded Olympic Center.’
      busy, crowded, swarming, teeming, full, astir, buzzing, hectic, lively, vibrant, thronging, thronged
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noun

mass noun
  • Excited activity and movement.

    ‘all the noise and the traffic and the bustle’
    • ‘It's a musical alcove independent of the traffic and bustle of everyday.’
    • ‘The new year came and went without the usual fluster and bustle of activity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Life today is a great sea of bustle and activity with everyone on the move.’
    • ‘A bustle of activity met them at the bottom of the ladder.’
    • ‘To him it was a happy sound, that bustle of activity that said his sons were going out to work.’
    • ‘Inside there was bustle and excited anticipatory chatter.’
    • ‘The whole first act consists of the protesters' excitement and bustle as they get ready.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Moreover, the new bustle in activity is tightening up the slack in manufacturing.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Soon the hall was all bustle and activity as men put out the tables and women prepared the food.’
    • ‘The city was quiet, in the lull between the commotion and bustle of the day and the casual activity of night.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A bustle of technology-related activity has made Iowa State one of the leaders in the emerging field of human computer interaction.’
    • ‘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.’
    activity, hustle and bustle, animation, commotion, flurry, tumult, hubbub, busyness, action, liveliness, movement, life, stir, excitement, agitation, fuss, whirl
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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.

    • ‘The women became blimps in massive gathered skirts, bustles and crinolines.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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/