Etymology
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burst (v.)
Old English berstan (intransitive) "break suddenly, shatter as a result of pressure from within" (class III strong verb; past tense bærst, past participle borsten), from a West Germanic metathesis of Proto-Germanic *brest- (source also of Old Saxon brestan, Old Frisian bersta, Middle Dutch berstan, Low German barsten, Dutch barsten, Old High German brestan, German bersten "to burst").

The forms reverted to brest- in Middle English from influence of Old Norse brestan/brast/brosten, from the same Germanic root, but it was re-metathesized late 16c. and emerged in the modern form, though brast was common as past tense through 17c. and survives in dialect.

In Old English "Chiefly said of things possessing considerable capacity for resistance and breaking with loud noise; often of cords, etc., snapping under tension; also of spears, swords, etc., shivered in battle" [OED]; in late Old English also "break violently open as an effect of internal forces." Figuratively, in reference to being over-full of excitement, anticipation, emotion, etc., from c. 1200. Transitive sense ("to cause to break, cause to explode") is from late 13c. Meaning "to issue suddenly and abundantly" is from c. 1300 (literal), mid-13c. (figurative). Meaning "break (into) sudden activity or expression" is from late 14c. Related: Bursting.
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burst (n.)
1610s, "act of bursting, a violent rending; a sudden issuing forth," from burst (v.). Meaning "a spurt, an outburst" (of activity, etc.) is from 1862. Jane Austen, Coleridge, Browning use it in a sense of "a sudden opening to sight or view." The earlier noun berst (early Middle English) meant "damage, injury, harm."
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cloud-burst (n.)

also cloudburst, "violent downpour of much rain over a small area," 1817, American English, from cloud (n.) + burst (n.). It parallels German Wolkenbruch.

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outburst (n.)

"a breaking or bursting out, a violent issue," 1650s, from the verbal phrase; see out (adv.) + burst (v.). Outbresten was a verb in Middle English (mid-12c.), from Old English utaberstan. Carlyle (1837) apparently coined inburst (n.) to be its opposite.

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bust (v.)
"to burst," 1806, variant of burst (v.); for loss of -r-, compare ass (n.2). Meaning "go bankrupt" is from 1834. Meaning "break (into)" is from 1859. The slang meaning "demote" (especially in a military sense) is from 1918; that of "place under arrest" is from 1953 (earlier "to raid" from Prohibition). In card games, "to go over a score of 21," from 1939. Related: Busted; busting.
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bust (n.2)
variant of burst (n.), 1764, American English. For loss of -r-, compare ass (n.2). Originally "frolic, spree;" sense of "sudden failure" is from 1842. Meaning "police raid or arrest" is from 1938. Phrase ______ or bust as an emphatic expression attested by 1851 in British depictions of Western U.S. dialect. Probably from earlier expression bust (one's) boiler, by late 1840s, a reference to steamboat boilers exploding when driven too hard.
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bustle (v.)
"be active in a noisy and agitated way," 1570s (bustling "noisy or excited activity" is from early 15c.), of uncertain origin, perhaps a frequentative of Middle English bresten "to rush, break," from Old English bersten (see burst (v.)), influenced by Old Norse buask "to make oneself ready" (see busk (v.)). Or it might be from busk (v.) via a 16c. frequentative form buskle. Related: Bustled; bustling; bustler.
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-el (3)

derivational suffix, also -le, used mostly with verbs but originally also with nouns, "often denoting diminutive, repetitive, or intensive actions or events" [The Middle English Compendium], from Old English. Compare brastlian alongside berstan (see burst); nestlian (see nestle) alongside nistan). It is likely also in wrestle, trample, draggle, struggle, twinkle, also noddle "to make frequent nods" (1733). New formations in Middle English might be native formations (jostle from joust) with this or borrowings from Dutch.

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sprint (n.)
"short burst of running, etc.," 1865, from sprint (v.).
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