Etymology
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bust (n.1)
1690s, "sculpture of upper torso and head," from French buste (16c.), from Italian busto "upper body," from Latin bustum "funeral monument, tomb," originally "funeral pyre, place where corpses are burned," perhaps shortened from ambustum, neuter of ambustus "burned around," past participle of amburere "burn around, scorch," from ambi- "around" + urere "to burn." Or perhaps from Old Latin boro, the early form of classical Latin uro "to burn." The sense development in Italian probably is from the Etruscan custom of keeping the ashes of the dead in an urn shaped like the person when alive.

From 1727 as "trunk of the human body above the waist." Meaning "bosom, measurement around a woman's body at the level of her breasts" is by 1884.
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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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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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busted (adj.)
"broken, ruined," 1837, past-participle adjective from bust (v.).
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bustier (n.)
1979, from French bustier, from buste "bust" (see bust (n.1)).
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busty (adj.)
"having large breasts," 1944, from bust (n.1) in the "bosom" sense + -y (2). Related: Bustiness.
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sodbuster (n.)
"pioneer farmer in a cattle-grazing region," originally in the U.S. West, 1897, from sod (n.1) + agent noun from bust (v.).
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blockbuster (n.)

also block-buster, 1942, "large bomb" (4,000 pounds or larger, according to some sources), from block (n.1) in the "built-up city square" sense, + agent noun from bust (v.), on the notion of the widespread destruction they could cause. Entertainment sense "spectacularly successful production" is attested by 1952. U.S. sense of "real estate broker who sells a house to a black family on an all-white neighborhood," thus sparking an exodus, is from 1955.

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buster (n.)
1838, "anything large or exceptional; a man of great strength," American English slang (originally Missouri/Arkansas), perhaps meaning something that takes one's breath away and thus an agent noun from bust (v.). Around the same years, buster (as an extended form of bust (n.)) also meant "a frolic, a spree," hence "a roistering blade" (OED's definition, probably not the way they would have explained it in old Missouri and Arkansas), which might have influenced it. As a generic or playful address to a male from 1948, American English. Meaning "horse-breaker" is from 1891, American English; hence the back-formed verb bust (v.) "break a horse."
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urn (n.)
late 14c., "large, rounded vase used to preserve the ashes of the dead," from Latin urna "a jar, vessel of baked clay, water-jar; vessel for the ashes of the dead" (also used as a ballot box and for drawing lots), probably from earlier *urc-na, akin to urceus "pitcher, jug," and from the same source as Greek hyrke "earthen vessel." But another theory connects it to Latin urere "to burn" (compare bust (n.1)).
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