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be busted

1. To be bankrupt or without money. I wagered all I owned on that investment, and now I am completely busted.
2. In the military, to be demoted in rank. The four lieutenants were caught with drugs and alcohol, and all were subsequently busted to the rank of cadet.
3. To be arrested by the police. I told you we'd be busted if we tried to sell alcohol without a license!
4. To be caught in the act of wrongdoing, bad behavior, or lying. I was busted by my parents when I tried sneaking into the house after curfew last night. I saw what you did, you are so busted!
5. To be broken, physically damaged, or in a state of disrepair. Ah, no one can get this car to run, it's completely busted.
See also: busted


1. verb, informal To smash or break something with force. I had to use a shovel to bust the large clumps of ice that had formed around the wheels of my truck.
2. verb, informal To cause something to be inoperable or unusable; to break something. I think I busted my laptop when I dropped it earlier. It won't turn on for me.
3. verb, informal To break apart. The vase toppled off the table and busted into a dozen pieces.
4. verb, slang To injure a part of one's body. I tripped and busted my lip on the concrete step. Those two goons busted up my arm after I refused to pay the money.
5. verb, slang To punch, strike, or thrash someone or something. He said he would bust my face open if I ever said that about his mother again.
6. verb, slang To catch or apprehend someone for doing something illegal, illicit, or not allowed. The police finally busted the guy who had stolen all that money. I heard Tommy's parents busted him while he was smoking a joint.
7. verb, slang To raid a location in search of something illegal or illicit. Police busted one of the cartel's largest drug-processing compounds today, arresting more than 20 people and seizing more than $2.5 million worth of cocaine.
8. noun, slang A police raid on a location in search of something illegal or illicit. Today's bust led to the arrest of more than 20 people and the seizure of more than $2.5 million worth of cocaine.
9. noun, dated slang An indulgence of wild or celebratory activity, especially involving heavy alcohol consumption. We went on a quite a bust once the job was finished. Started on Friday and didn't stop drinking till morning. The university has been clamping down at beer busts held at the various fraternities and sororities around the campus.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


1. and bust mod. arrested. Harry the Horse is bust again. The third time this month. How many times you been busted for speeding?
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. I went to a beer bust and got busted.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
BUSTED: A study found teens who slept less were way more likely to engage in reckless activities.
We could not think of a better partnership,” Stefanie LaHart
, CEO Busted Foundation.
Lawyer Andrew Forbes, for Busted, said after the ruling: "James and Matt believed that their claims were false and were motivated by jealousy of their success and sour grapes."
The case that was launched yesterday involved a claim that Busted are liable for any damages and a demand for the band's accounts so that a figure can be worked out from sales of records and performances of the songs at the centre of the dispute.
"It's weird how people see me differently now because I do exactly in this band what I did in Busted."
At the press conference in London yesterday, the 19-year-old said: "I'm proud of everything we've achieved in Busted - we've enjoyed some of the best times of our lives together.
Peter said: "When Matt returns he is immediately collared by the bride who reveals she is 'more nervous about meeting Busted than I was about getting married.'
'They've done two gigs but it doesn't affect Busted in any way.
Busted reached No 1 last month with their third single, You Said No.
Anti-illegal drugs operatives busted Ronalyn de Silva, 30, after she allegedly sold shabu to an undercover police officer in a transaction in Barangay (village) Lutucan 1 around 8:40 p.m.
RAWALPINDI, October 26, 2010 (Balochistan Times): The water pipe lines lying in jurisdiction of TMA Rawal town have burst during digging for reconstruction of streets and roads in the area while the busted water pipelines are creating problems for residents.
HIS new band has flopped but James Bourne reckons it was inevitable that Son Of Dork wouldn't be as big as Busted.
TEEN pin-up Charlie Simpson will be performing in Coventry tonight just hours after splitting from pop heart-throbs Busted.
BOY band Busted are going their separate ways, it was revealed last night.
And Busted's other two band members, Matt Jay and James Bourne, are 'taking a break', the spokesman added.