English dictionary

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English adjective: busy

1. busy actively or fully engaged or occupied

SamplesBusy with her work.
A busy man.
Too busy to eat lunch.

Similarat work, drudging, engaged, laboring, labouring, occupied, overbusy, tied up, toiling, up to

See alsodiligent, employed


2. busy overcrowded or cluttered with detail

SamplesA busy painting.
A fussy design.




3. busy intrusive in a meddling or offensive manner

SamplesAn interfering old woman.
Bustling about self-importantly making an officious nuisance of himself.
Busy about other people's business.

Synonymsbusybodied, interfering, meddlesome, meddling, officious


Antonymsnot intrusive, unintrusive

4. busy crowded with or characterized by much activity

SamplesA very busy week.
A busy life.
A busy street.
A busy seaport.



5. busy (of facilities such as telephones or lavatories) unavailable for use by anyone else or indicating unavailability; (`engaged' is a British term for a busy telephone line)

SamplesHer line is busy.
Receptionists' telephones are always engaged.
The lavatory is in use.
Kept getting a busy signal.

Synonymsengaged, in use



English verb: busy

1. busy (social) keep busy with

SamplesShe busies herself with her butterfly collection.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody.
Somebody ----s somebody PP

Broader (hypernym)work

Narrower (hyponym)dabble, play around, potter, putter, smatter

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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