Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR BUSIED

"That's it," he said, as he busied himself with a tall glass and the cracked ice.

There was a pause, during which Cartwright busied himself with his papers.

That day in every house, in varied occupation, each family was busied.

Moreover, when he was about thirty, he had busied himself with spiritualism.

He busied himself in making fast the boat, while Hermione followed Vere.

She busied herself in endless gossiping among the neighbors.

The chauffeur was busied with his car fiddling with the machinery.

He busied himself with reflections on every minor feature of the road.

Hervey busied himself with his food, nor did he look up when he spoke.

The girl did not answer, but busied herself with the manipulation of her machine.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English bisig "careful, anxious," later "continually employed or occupied," cognate with Old Dutch bezich, Low German besig; no known connection with any other Germanic or Indo-European language. Still pronounced as in Middle English, but for some unclear reason the spelling shifted to -u- in 15c.

The notion of "anxiousness" has drained from the word since Middle English. Often in a bad sense in early Modern English, "prying, meddlesome" (preserved in busybody). The word was a euphemism for "sexually active" in 17c. Of telephone lines, 1893. Of display work, "excessively detailed, visually cluttered," 1903.

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.