If you bust something, you have broken it. A bust can also be a statue of someone from the shoulders up. Be careful to not bust a bust on your next field trip!

Several meanings of bust are pretty discouraging. You might describe your business as bust if it's totally out of money, for example. Or you might threaten your younger sister, "If you bust my ceramic unicorn, you're in big trouble!" There's also the kind of bust that might sit on your piano, like a bust of Mozart or Bach — a statue of a person's head and upper shoulders. This is the oldest meaning of the word, from the Italian busto, "upper body."

Definitions of bust
  1. noun
    a sculpture of the head and shoulders of a person
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    type of:
    a three-dimensional work of plastic art
  2. noun
    the chest of a woman
    synonyms: female chest
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    type of:
    chest, pectus, thorax
    the part of the human torso between the neck and the diaphragm or the corresponding part in other vertebrates
  3. verb
    break open or apart suddenly and forcefully
    synonyms: burst
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    break into many pieces
    type of:
    break, come apart, fall apart, separate, split up
    become separated into pieces or fragments
  4. verb
    separate or cause to separate abruptly
    synonyms: rupture, snap, tear
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    cut or tear irregularly
    pull, rend, rip, rive
    tear or be torn violently
    rip up, shred, tear up
    tear into shreds
    tear into pieces
    type of:
    disunite, divide, part, separate
    force, take, or pull apart
  5. verb
    go to pieces
    synonyms: break, fall apart, wear, wear out
    ruin completely
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    fray, frazzle
    wear away by rubbing
    type of:
    crumble, decay, dilapidate
    fall into decay or ruin
  6. verb
    ruin completely
    “He busted my radio!”
    synonyms: break
    break, fall apart, wear, wear out
    go to pieces
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    bushel, doctor, fix, furbish up, mend, repair, restore, touch on
    restore by replacing a part or putting together what is torn or broken
    break down
    cause to fall or collapse
    type of:
    destroy, ruin
    destroy completely; damage irreparably
  7. noun
    a complete failure
    synonyms: fizzle, flop
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    bomb, dud, turkey
    an event that fails badly or is totally ineffectual
    type of:
    an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose
  8. verb
    search without warning, make a sudden surprise attack on
    synonyms: raid
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    type of:
    assail, attack
    launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with
  9. adjective
    lacking funds
    synonyms: broke, skint, stone-broke, stony-broke
    having little money or few possessions
  10. noun
    an occasion for excessive eating or drinking
    “they went on a bust that lasted three days”
    synonyms: binge, bout, tear
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    vulgar expression for a bout of heavy drinking
    type of:
    revel, revelry
    unrestrained merrymaking
Word Family

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