Bust



a sculptured, painted, drawn, or engraved representation of the upper part of the human figure, especially a portrait sculpture showing only the head and shoulders of the subject.
the chest or breast, especially a woman’s bosom.
Informal.

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.

Cards.

Draw Poker. to fail to make a flush or straight by one card.
Blackjack. to draw cards exceeding the count of 21.

Informal.

to burst.
to bankrupt; ruin financially.

to demote, especially in military rank or grade:
He was busted from sergeant to private three times.
to tame; break:
to bust a bronco.
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.

Informal.

to hit.
to break; fracture:
She fell and busted her arm.

a failure.
Informal. a hit; sock; punch:
He got a bust in the nose before he could put up his hands.
a sudden decline in the economic conditions of a country, marked by an extreme drop in stock-market prices, business activity, and employment; depression.
Slang.

an arrest.
a police raid.

Informal. a drinking spree; binge.
Cards.

a very weak hand.
Bridge. a hand lacking the potential to take a single trick.

Informal. bankrupt; broke.
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.

bust ass, Slang: Vulgar. to fight with the fists; strike or thrash another.
bust on, Slang.

to attack physically; beat up.
to criticize or reprimand harshly.
to make fun of or laugh at; mock.
to inform on.

bust one’s ass, Slang: Vulgar. to make an extreme effort; exert oneself.
Contemporary Examples

Pro-Obamacare Groups say that Now We Need Cost Control. Why Didn’t We Hear This Three Years Ago? Megan McArdle April 11, 2013
‘Portlandia’ Duo Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein Discuss the Secrets to the Cult Show’s Success Marlow Stern February 26, 2014
Michigan Labor Vows 2014 Revenge for Snyder’s Right-to-Work Law Jay Scott Smith December 11, 2012
David’s Book Club: Unintended Consequences David Frum July 2, 2012
Occupy the RNC? What’s Behind Tampa’s Homemade Signs Blake Gopnik August 29, 2012

Historical Examples

The Eagle’s Heart Hamlin Garland
The Story of a Cat mile Gigault de La Bdollire
Colonial Born G. Firth Scott
Daisy Elizabeth Wetherell
Under Fire Charles King

noun
the chest of a human being, esp a woman’s bosom
a sculpture of the head, shoulders, and upper chest of a person
verb busts, busting, busted, bust
to burst or break
to make or become bankrupt
(transitive) (of the police) to raid, search, or arrest: the girl was busted for drugs
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to demote, esp in military rank
(transitive) (US & Canadian) to break or tame (a horse, etc)
(transitive) (mainly US) to punch; hit
bust a gut, See gut (sense 9)
noun
a raid, search, or arrest by the police
(mainly US) a punch; hit
(US & Canadian) a failure, esp a financial one; bankruptcy
a drunken party
adjective
broken
bankrupt
go bust, to become bankrupt
n.
v.

Out of funds; destitute; broke (1840s+)
A police raid: One whiff of marijuana and we get a bust (1930s+)
An arrest; collar: Beating a Bust: Two Views (1918+)
That one bust decked me
A failure; fiasco: My try for her sweet favors was a total bust (1840s+)
A person who fails; loser, nonstarter: At baseball I was a risible bust (1920s+)
A spree; drinking bout: took his paycheck and went on a bust (1840+)

To break: I busted my nose (1806+)
o disperse or chase a rival street gang (1950s+ Street gang)
To reduce in rank; demote: He got busted from buck sergeant to buck private (late 1800s+ Army)
To tame a wild horse for riding: Two rides will usually bust a bronco so that the average cow-puncher can use him (1890s+ Cowboys)
o break open a safe, vault, etc; also, burglarize a place (1890s+ Underworld)
: I’ve been busted, bring bail
To catch someone in an illegal or immoral act (1950s+ Teenagers)
To hit someone: She busted me in the kishkes (1808+)
To fail an examination or course; flunk •The standard form burst is found in the 1850s: I miserably busted the econ final (1900+ College students)

Penniless; broke (1860s+)
Arrested or caught by an authority: I’m so busted
Intoxicated

bust a gut
bust one’s ass

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