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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
bust1 /bʌst/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. Fine Arta statue or painting of the upper part of the human body:a bronze bust in the hallway.

      the breasts of a woman;

bust2 /bʌst/USA pronunciation   v. [Informal.]
  1. Informal Termsto burst: [+ object]Why did you bust those balloons?[no object]Did they all bust open?
  2. [+ object] Informal.
      • to hit:She busted him in the face.
      • to break:I fell and busted my arm.
  3. to damage or destroy: [+ up + object]He busted up the place.[+ object + up]Get Bugsy to bust the place up.
  4. to break up; separate;
    split up[+ up]He and his wife busted up a month ago.
  5. to escape or flee from jail[+ out of + object]They busted out of prison.
  6. [+ object] Slang.
      • to place under arrest:"Freeze! You're busted!'' shouted the cop.
      • to enter (a house) in a police raid:The police busted her house.

n. [countable]
  1. [Informal.]something unsuccessful; a failure:The play turned out to be a real bust.
  2. a sudden economic decline;
    depression:a bust in the economy.
  3. Slang.
      • an arrest:The rookie got credit for the bust of the Mafia boss.
      • a police raid.

adj. [go + ~]
  1. Informal TermsInformal. bankrupt; broke:Our business went bust after the war.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
bust1  (bust), 
  1. Fine Arta sculptured, painted, drawn, or engraved representation of the upper part of the human figure, esp. a portrait sculpture showing only the head and shoulders of the subject.
  2. the chest or breast, esp. a woman's bosom.
  • Latin būstum grave mound, tomb, literally, funeral pyre, ashes; presumably by association with the busts erected over graves
  • Italian busto, probably
  • French buste
  • 1685–95

bust2  (bust), 
      • to burst.
      • to go bankrupt.
      • to collapse from the strain of making a supreme effort:She was determined to make straight A's or bust.
      • [Draw Poker.]to fail to make a flush or straight by one card.
      • Blackjack. to draw cards exceeding the count of 21.

      • to burst.
      • to bankrupt; ruin financially.
  1. to demote, esp. in military rank or grade:He was busted from sergeant to private three times.
  2. to tame;
    break:to bust a bronco.
  3. [Slang.]
      • to place under arrest:The gang was busted and put away on narcotics charges.
      • to subject to a police raid:The bar has been busted three times for selling drinks to minors.
      • to hit.
      • to break; fracture:She fell and busted her arm.
  4. Slang Terms, Idiomsbust ass, Slang (vulgar). to fight with the fists;
    strike or thrash another.
  5. bust on, [Slang.]
      • to attack physically;
        beat up.
      • to criticize or reprimand harshly.
      • to make fun of or laugh at;
      • to inform on.
  6. Slang Termsbust one's ass, Slang (vulgar). to make an extreme effort;
    exert oneself.
  7. bust up, [Informal.]
      • to break up;
        separate:Sam and his wife busted up a year ago.
      • to damage or destroy:Soldiers got in a fight and busted up the bar.

  1. a failure.
  2. Informal Terms[Informal.]a hit; sock;
    punch:He got a bust in the nose before he could put up his hands.
  3. a sudden decline in the economic conditions of a country, marked by an extreme drop in stock-market prices, business activity, and employment;
  4. [Slang.]
      • an arrest.
      • a police raid.
  5. Informal Terms[Informal.]a drinking spree;
  6. [Cards.]
      • a very weak hand.
      • [Bridge.]a hand lacking the potential to take a single trick.

  1. Informal Terms[Informal.]bankrupt;
  • variant of burst, by loss of r before s, as in ass2, bass2, passel, etc. 1755–65
Historically bust is derived from a dialect pronunciation of burst and is related to it much as cuss is related to curse. Bust is both a noun and a verb and has a wide range of meanings for both uses. Many are slang or informal. A few, as "a decline in economic conditions, depression,'' are standard.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

bust /bʌst/ n
  1. the chest of a human being, esp a woman's bosom
  2. a sculpture of the head, shoulders, and upper chest of a person
Etymology: 17th Century: from French buste, from Italian busto a sculpture, of unknown origin
bust /bʌst/ informal vb (busts, busting, busted, bust)
  1. to burst or break
  2. to make or become bankrupt
  3. (transitive) (of the police) to raid, search, or arrest
  4. (transitive) US Canadian to demote, esp in military rank
  1. a raid, search, or arrest by the police
  2. chiefly US a punch; hit
  3. US Canadian a failure, esp a financial one; bankruptcy
  4. a drunken party
  1. broken
  2. bankrupt
  3. go bustto become bankrupt
Etymology: 19th Century: from a dialect pronunciation of burst

'busting' also found in these entries:

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