From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbusybus‧y1 /ˈbɪzi/ ●●● S1 W2 adjective (comparative busier, superlative busiest) 1 personBUSY/NOT AVAILABLE if you are busy, you are working hard and have a lot of things to do She’s busy now – can you phone later? a busy mother of fourbusy with Mr Haynes is busy with a customer at the moment.busy doing something Rachel’s busy studying for her exams. There were lots of activities to keep the kids busy.GrammarYou are busy with something: I’m very busy with work at the moment. ✗Don’t say: busy for something | busy on something 2 timeBUSY/HAVE A LOT TO DO a busy period of time is full of work or other activities December is the busiest time of year for shops. a busy day He took time out of his busy schedule to visit us.3 placeBUSY PLACE a busy place is very full of people or vehicles and movement We live on a very busy road.4 TCTtelephone especially American English if a telephone you are calling is busy, it makes a repeated sound to tell you that the person you are calling is talking on their telephone syn engaged British English I called Sonya, but her line was busy. I keep getting a busy signal.5 patternDETAIL a pattern or design that is busy is too full of small details – used to show disapprovalTHESAURUSpersonbusy if you are busy, you have a lot of things you need to doSorry I haven’t called you, but I’ve been really busy.a busy housewifeAngela was becoming more and more unhappy, but her husband was too busy to notice.Not now Stephen, I’m busy.Alex is busy studying for his exams.rushed/run off your feet [not before noun] British English spoken very busy and in a hurry, because you have too many things to doWe’ve been absolutely rushed off our feet getting ready for our son’s birthday party.snowed under [not before noun] so busy that you can hardly deal with all the work you have to doI can’t stop for lunch today – I’m completely snowed under.We’ve been snowed under with applications for the job.up to your ears/neck in something [not before noun] informal extremely busy because you have a lot of work to deal withTeachers say they are up to their ears in paperwork and don’t have enough time for teaching.tied up [not before noun] busy in your job, so that you cannot do anything elseI’m sorry, but he’s tied up at the moment. Could you call back later?I can’t see you tomorrow: I’m tied up all day.have a lot to do especially spoken to have to do a lot of things, so that you need to hurry or work hardLet’s get started – we have a lot to do.have a lot on British English, have a lot going on American English spoken to be busy, especially because you have arranged to do a lot of things during a particular periodI’ve got a lot on this weekend.He says he’ll try and see you as soon as possible, but he has a lot going on this afternoon.timebusy use this about times when you have a lot of things you need to doWe have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.July and August are our busiest times.hectic a hectic time or situation is extremely busy, so that you are always in a hurry and often feel excited or worriedIt was really hectic at work today.The band had a hectic recording schedule.the rush hour the time in the morning and evening when a lot of people are travelling to or from workThe buses are so crowded during the rush hour you never get a seat.In most British cities the rush hour does not start until about 8 o’clock.
Examples from the Corpusbusy• I called Mom again, but it was still busy.• Not now Stephen, I'm busy.• She tried to call Lisa, but the phone was busy.• In the words of one interviewee: You're just too busy.• Even though it was eight o'clock the market was still busy.• He's retired now, but his work for the youth club keeps him busy.• a busy airport• Paris nowadays is a busy and crowded metropolis.• Critics say the mayor is too busy campaigning to do his job properly.• I'm going to bed. We have a busy day ahead of us tomorrow.• a busy freeway• I decided I would urge her to take some time off, what with the busy holiday season looming ahead.• It's busy. I'll call again later.• She's very busy -- it's her daughter's wedding next week.• July is our busiest month, when all the tourists come.• She's a busy mother of four with a full time job.• I'm kind of busy now, can I call you back?• I've been trying to call the customer helpline, but all I'm getting is a busy signal.• Everyone else was busy, so I launched the small rubber dinghy and started rowing.• They were too busy taking money out.• Restaurant managers often employ temporary staff at busy times of the year.• Angela was becoming more and more unhappy, but her husband was too busy to notice.• Boots' progress was accompanied by a variety of stories as in often busy trading the shares gained 9p to 294p.• Its 77 buildings containing 430 apartments are laid out in drab-looking rows along busy Van Nuys Boulevard.• They pretty much run the place themselves, relying on occasional help only on busy weekends.• Richards came back and signalled clearly, but Tribe was busy with his gun again.keep ... busy• This feeling of exhaustion would pass, he said, if he kept busy.• Viewed that way, New Zealand has a lively industry that keeps actors busy.• We want to keep her busy and active.• There are lots of activities to keep you busy, and there are more than 35 pictures to print and color.• Not that he had much free time, for he kept himself as busy as ever in the district.• There is no doubt that she will be kept busy at her house in Elderslie with eight grand-children in her family.• She ate very little, she drank less, she kept very busy, but apparently to little effect.• He had enough to tell Edith to keep him busy till Christmas.busy schedule• David never missed a training session, seminar or meeting, he always managed to fit everything into his busy schedule.• They were both flying and had very busy schedules.• You can't fit me into your busy schedule.• Coincidentally, I had a very busy schedule as Foreign Secretary at that time.• I have a busy schedule for the next few days, so I may not be in touch.• He had to rely on the busy schedules of Brooks and his busy grad students.• They visit Twickenham on November 14 as part of a busy schedule that follows rugby reunification between the races.• Dennis had a very busy schedule with all of these commitments.busy road• For this reason, start by choosing a relatively quiet environment rather than a busy road.• He stepped on to the busy road and dragged badly injured Scott clear of the traffic.• My grandparents' village was a small place off the main road, away from busy roads and with no mains services.• Standard rooms overlook a busy road but those with sea view are quieter.• It's amazing how many schools that front busy roads have name boards but no notice boards.• You must also choose an area where there is little traffic, with no busy roads nearby.• The gates led right on to a busy road, there were some derelict public loos next door and a boating lake opposite.• Read in studio Finally, traffic on a busy road was brought to a standstill this afternoon ... by a train.busy signal• He thought I was home, but all he got was a busy signal.• Uh, block call is a busy signal.• But most people found only busy signals, as structural damage and call volume overwhelmed local phone systems.• The busy signal, he saw now, had not been arbitrary.• No busy signals, paper jams, or failed attempts.• Again, the Brapid busy signal that meant no connection.• All three dialed up without encountering any busy signals when tested Thursday morning.• Many of its 8 million members get busy signals when they try to connect.