American English

Definition of busy adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (busier, busiest)
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    doing something
  1. 1having a lot to do; perhaps not free to do something else because you are working on something Are you busy tonight? I'm afraid the doctor is busy at the moment. Can he call you back? I'll be too busy to come to the meeting. The principal is a very busy woman. She was always too busy to listen. a very busy life busy with something/somebody Kate's busy with her homework.
  2. 2busy (doing something) spending a lot of time on something James is busy practicing for the school concert. Let's get busy with the cleaning up. They were busy enjoying themselves at the party.
  3. place
  4. 3full of people, activity, vehicles, etc. a busy main road Grand Central is one of New York's busiest stations.
  5. period of time
  6. 4full of work and activity Have you had a busy day ? This is one of the busiest times of the year for the department. We had a busy weekend lined up.
  7. telephone
  8. 5being used The line is busy—I'll try again later. the busy signal Topic CollocationsPhonesmaking and receiving phone calls the phone/telephone rings answer/pick up/hang up the phone/telephone lift/pick up/hold/replace the receiver dial a phone number/an extension number/a wrong number/an area code call somebody/talk (to somebody)/speak (to somebody) on the phone/telephone; from home/work/the office make/get/receive a phone call take the phone off the hook (= remove the receiver so that the phone does not ring) the line is busy the phones have been ringing off the hook (= ringing frequently) put somebody through/get through to the person you want to speak to put somebody on hold (= so that they must wait for the person they want to speak to) call from/use a landlinecell phones be/talk on a cell phone/ (informal) cell use/answer/call (somebody on)/get a message on your cell phone/cell switch/turn on/off your cell phone/cell charge/recharge your cell phone/cell a cell phone is on/is off/rings/goes off/is on vibrate/is on silent/is in silent mode send/receive a text (message)/a picture message insert/remove/change a SIM card
  9. pattern/design
  10. 6too full of small details This wallpaper is too busy for the bedroom.
  11. NAmE//ˈbɪzəli//
    adverb He was busily engaged in fixing his bike.
  12. Idioms
    as busy as a bee
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    very busy
    keep yourself busy
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    to find enough things to do Since she retired she's kept herself very busy.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: busy

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