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A small bush, or a compartment of shrubs in a garden. – Spenser.


  1. A kind of half boot, or high shoe, covering the foot and leg to the middle and tied underneath the knee, worn by actors in tragedy on the stage. The buskins of the ancients had very thick soles, to raise the actors and actresses to the stature of the persons they represented. – Encyc.
  2. In classic authors, the word is used for tragedy.


Dressed in buskins. – Milton. Pope.

BUSK'Y, a.

Bushy; wooded; shaded or overgrown with trees or shrubs; generally written bosky. [See Bush.] – Shak.

BUSS, n. [Per. بُوسِيدَن bosidan; Ar. بَاسَ bausa, to kiss; L. basio; Fr. baiser; Norm. beser; Sp. besar; Port. beijar; It. baciare; D. poezen, to kiss. The verb may be from the noun, and perhaps from the name of the lip; at any rate, from the same radical sense, to push; Per. puz, the lip; W. and Ir. bus, the lip; D. poes, a kiss, a puss, a fur-tippet, a girl; Sp. beso, a kiss; Port. beiço, the lip; beijo, a kiss; It. bacio. This word, so venerable for its antiquity and general use, has fallen into disrepute.]

  1. A kiss; a salute with the lips.
  2. [D. buis; G. büse; Russ. busa.] A small vessel, from 50 to 70 tuns burden, carrying two masts, and two sheds or cabins, one at each end; used in the herring fishery. – Encyc. Mar. Dict.

BUSS, v.t.

To kiss; to salute with the lips. – Shak.

BUST, n. [It. and Sp. busto; Fr. buste; L. bustum.]

In sculpture, the figure of a person in relief, showing only the head, shoulders and stomach; ordinarily placed on a pedestal or console. In speaking of an antique, we say the head is marble and the bust porphyry or bronze; that is, the shoulders and stomach. The Italians use the word for the trunk of the body from the neck to the hips. – Encyc.

BUST'ARD, n. [bus and tarda; It. otarda; Fr. outarde. Ancient Celtic, tarda. Plin. 10. 22.]

The Tarda, a species of fowl of the Grallic order, and genus Otis. This fowl grows to the weight of 25 or 27 pound, with a breadth of wing of six or seven feet. It inhabits England, feeding on green corn and other vegetables, and on earth-worms. It runs fast and takes flight with difficulty. – Encyc.

BUS'TLE, n. [bus'l.]

Hurry; great stir; rapid motion with noise and agitation; tumult from stirring or agitation; combustion. All would have been well without this bustle. – Spectator.

BUS'TLE, v.i. [bus'l. This word may be allied to busy, or to L. festino.]

To stir quick; to be very active; to be very quick in motion, often or usually with the sense of noise or agitation. And leave the world for me to bustle in. – Shak.

BUS'TLER, n. [bus'ler.]

An active stirring person.

BUS'TLING, ppr. [bus'ling.]

Stirring; moving actively with noise or agitation.

BUST'O, n.

A bust; sometimes perhaps used for a statue. – Ashmole.

BU'SY, a. [biz'zy; Sax. bysi, bysig; whence, byseg, business, bysgian, to busy; D. bezig, busy; bezigen, to busy, to use. This word appears, from the Dutch, to be composed of be, the prefix, and zig, the root of see, contracted in Inf. to zien, but retained in the pret. zag, and in the derivatives, zigt, sight, zigtbaar, visible. We find bezigtigen signifies to view. If this opinion is correct, the primary sense is seeing, or closely inspecting.]

  1. Employed with constant attention; engaged about something that renders interruption inconvenient; as, a man is busy in posting his books. My mistress is busy and cannot come. – Shak.
  2. Actively employed; occupied without cessation; constantly in motion; as, a busy bee. – Shak.
  3. Active in that which does not concern the person; meddling with or prying into the affairs of others; officious; importunate; hence, troublesome; vexatious. – Waller.
  4. Much occupied with employment; as, a busy day.

BU'SY, v.t. [biz'zy.]

To employ with constant attention; to keep engaged; to make or keep busy; as, to busy one's self with books. To be busied with genus and species. – Locke.

BUS'Y-BOD-Y, n. [biz'zy-body. busy and body.]

A meddling person; one who officiously concerns himself with the affairs of others. – Taylor.

BUS'Y-ING, ppr. [biz'zying.]

Constantly employing.


Having an active mind.

BUT, conj. [Sax. bote, reparation, satisfaction, compensation; and adverbially, moreover, further, that is, something added to make good, to supply that which is wanted, from betan, to make better, or more, to amend, that is, to advance; D. boete; Sw. böte; Dan. baade; W. buz, advantage. So in Ger. aber, but, is the Eng. over. In some of these languages it denotes a fine or penance, that which makes satisfaction. In Danish, profit; baader, to gain or profit; W. buziaw; Goth. botyan, id.; G. busse, büssen. We use this word as a noun, in the phrase, He gives a guinea to boot, that is, to make good, to satisfy, or by way of addition; and as a verb, in the phrase, What boots it, what gain or profit is it. It is radically the same word as bet in better; and the radical sense is to advance.]

More; further; noting an addition to supply what is wanting to elucidate, or modify the sense of the preceding part of a sentence, or of a discourse, or to continue the discourse, or to exhibit a contrast. Now abide faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. – 1 Cor. xiii. When pride cometh, then cometh, shame; but with the lowly is wisdom. – Prov. xi. Our wants are many and grievous; but quite of another kind. The house of representatives were well agreed in passing the bill; but the senate dissented. This word is in fact a noun equivalent to addition or supply; but in grammatical construction, no inconvenience results from considering it to be a connective.

BUT, n. [Fr. bout, end, extremity, and but, end, aim, design; Arm. but or baut. It is sometimes written butt, especially when applied to the end of a plank. It coincides, in sense and elements, with L. peto, Sp. bote, a thrust, botar, to cast, It. botta, botto, bottare, Fr. botte, bouder, Eng. pout, and many other words. See Butt.]

  1. An end; a limit; a bound. It is used particularly for the larger end of a thing, as of a piece of timber, or of a fallen tree; that which grows nearest the earth. It is not often applied to the bound or limit of land; yet butted for bounded, is often used.
  2. The end of a plank in a ship's side or bottom, which unites with another; generally written butt.
  3. A mark or object of ridicule.
  4. The foot of a play.

BUT, prep. [Sax. butan, buton, buta, bute, without, on the outside, abroad: hence, except or excepting, besides; that is, separated, not included. The verb is not in the Saxon; but in Dutch we have the verb in its primary sense, buiten, to rove or wander, to go freebooting; buit, booty; buiten, out, without, abroad, besides, except; buiten boord, over board; buiten deur, out of doors; buiten huis, an outhouse; buiten man, an out-man, a stranger; G. beute, booty; Sw. byte, booty; byta, to exchange; Dan. bytte, booty, a parting, division, distribution; bytter, to part, divide, exchange, barter; Sp. botin; It. bottino; Fr. butin, booty. The primary sense of booty is to rove or wander, to part or separate from; applied to persons, it is to wander; applied to things, it may include stripping. But then is a contraction of butan, and primarily a participle.]

  1. Except; besides; unless. Who can it be, but perjured Lycon? – Smith. That is, removed, separated, excepted. Lycon being separated, or excepted, who can it be? And but infirmity, / Which waits upon worn times, hath something seized / His wished ability, he had himself / The lands and waters measured. – Shak. That is, except, unless, separate this fact, that infirmity had seized his ability, he had measured the lands and waters. In this use but, butan, is a participle equivalent to excepting, and may be referred to the person speaking, or more naturally, it is equivalent to excepted, and with the following words, or clause, forming the case absolute. Who can it be, Lycon being excepted? And but my noble Moor is true of mind, it were enough to put him to ill thinking. – Shak. It cannot be but nature hath some director, of infinite power, to guide her in all her ways. – Hooker. There is no question but the King of Spain will reform most of the abuses. – Addison. It is not impossible but I may alter the complexion of my play. – Dryden. In the last three examples, that is omitted after but. It is not impossible but that I may alter the complexion of my play. In these and all similar phrases but denotes separation, exception.
  2. Only; as, there is but one man present. A formidable man, but to his friends. – Dryden. This use of but is a modern innovation; but perhaps too firmly established to be corrected. In all such phrases, a negative, not, nothing, or other word, is omitted. He is not a formidable man, but to his enemies, that is, except. There is not but one man present, that is, there is not except or besides one present. So also, “Our light affliction is but for a moment.” – 2 Cor. iv. Our affliction is not, except for a moment. If they kill us, we shall but die. – 2 Kings vii. The common people in America retain the original and correct phrase; usually employing a negative. They do not say, I have but one. On the other hand, they say, I have not but one, that is, I have not except one; except one, and I have none. This word but for butan is not a conjunction, nor has it the least affinity to that part of speech.

BUT, v.i.

To be bounded by; to lie contiguous to; a word used in America. [See Abut.]

BUTCH'ER, n. [Fr. boucher; Arm. boçzer, a butcher; Fr. boucherie; It. beccheria, butchery, shambles. The primary sense probably is to stick or stab, as the Fr. boucher signifies to stop, that is, to set, to thrust.]

  1. One who slaughters animals for market; or one whose occupation is to kill animals for the table. The word may and often does include the person who cuts up and sells meat.
  2. One who kills men, or commands troops to kill them; one who sheds, or causes to be shed human blood in abundance; applied to princes and conquerors who delight in war, or are remarkable for destroying human life. – Locke.

BUTCH'ER, v.t.

  1. To kill or slaughter animals for food, or for market.
  2. To murder; but emphatically applied to murder committed with unusual cruelty, or circumstances of uncommon barbarity.


The shrike; a genus of birds, called Lanius. One species of this genus is called king-bird, from its courage in attacking hawks and crows. – Encyc. The king-bird is now arranged under the genus Muscicapa. – Ed. Encyc.