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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.

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

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.

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.

an arrest.
a police raid.

Informal. a drinking spree; binge.

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

Will Mickey Rourke Fight at WrestleMania? Mike Edison February 16, 2009

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)
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
go bust, to become bankrupt

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)

bust a gut
bust one’s ass


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