synonyms
  • definitions

busy

[ biz-ee ]SEE DEFINITION OF busy
  • adj.engaged, at work
  • adj.active, on the go
  • adj.nosy, impertinent

Synonyms for busy

  • active
  • unavailable
  • working
  • buried
  • employed
  • engaged
  • engrossed
  • hustling
  • occupied
  • overloaded
  • persevering
  • slaving
  • snowed
  • swamped
  • already taken
  • assiduous
  • at it
  • diligent
  • having a full plate
  • having enough on one's plate
  • having fish to fry
  • having many irons in the fire
  • in a meeting
  • in conference
  • in someone else's possession
  • in the field
  • in the laboratory
  • industrious
  • on assignment
  • on duty
  • on the go
  • tied up
  • up to one's ears
  • with a customer
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Antonyms for busy

  • idle
  • inactive
  • unoccupied
  • lazy
  • quiet
  • unbusy
  • unemployed
  • unengaged
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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR BUSY

Plato perceived that the contemplative maiden was busy with memories of the past.

In these solitary tours he was busy and happy, working and playing.

He was busy almost half an hour, while Uncle Peter smoked in silence.

All busy preparing for a start for the Head of the Bight to-morrow.

There is a look of industrious nothingness about him, such as busy dogs have.

Both sexes, and all ages, are busy at all times in the mysteries of the gaming-table.

They only thought a lawyer could help them--but I'm far too busy--of course I decline.

He watched the face of the other keenly, but the old man was busy filling his pipe.

For her part, she was busy and could not spare time to gossip.

From that day for nearly a fortnight there were busy doings in the house.

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.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR BUSY

active

adjectivevery involved in activity

elaborate

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