[biz-ee] /ˈbɪz i/

adjective, busier, busiest.
actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime:
busy with her work.
not at leisure; otherwise engaged:
He couldn’t see any visitors because he was busy.
full of or characterized by activity:
a busy life.
(of a telephone line) in use by a party or parties and not immediately accessible.
officious; meddlesome; prying.
ornate, disparate, or clashing in design or colors; cluttered with small, unharmonious details; fussy:
The rug is too busy for this room.
verb (used with object), busied, busying.
to keep occupied; make or keep busy:
In summer, he busied himself keeping the lawn in order.
adjective busier, busiest
actively or fully engaged; occupied
crowded with or characterized by activity: a busy day
(mainly US & Canadian) (of a room, telephone line, etc) in use; engaged
overcrowded with detail: a busy painting
meddlesome; inquisitive; prying
verb busies, busying, busied
(transitive) to make or keep (someone, esp oneself) busy; occupy

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.

late Old English bisgian, from busy (adj.). Related: Busied; busying.

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