The word "busy" is an adjective that describes a person who has a lot of things to do within a short period of time.

  • Alice is busy at work.
  • Bob was busy a few hours ago, but now he’s free.
  • Carol’s bakery will probably be busy this morning.
  • The stores are very busy this morning. They won’t be busy tomorrow because it’s a holiday.
  • Traffic is usually busier during the afternoon rush hour when compared to the morning rush.
  • She’s busy as a bee. ("Busy as a bee" is a popular expression in the United States.)

The verbs "keep" and "stay" are often used with "busy."

  • How does Bill keep busy now that’s he’s retired?
  • Miranda likes to keep busy all the time.
  • If their business stays busy, they will expand.
  • The people in the office try to stay busy so that they aren’t let go.

When you call someone on the phone and there’s no answer because the phone is in use, you can use the word "busy."

  • Her line is busy.
  • Teresa’s phone is busy.
  • I’m getting a busy signal.

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First published on December 24, 2012