Etymology: Middle English bisy, from Old English bisig; akin to Middle Dutch & Middle Low German besich busy
Date: before 12th century
a. engaged in action ; occupied
b. being in use <found the telephone busy> 2. full of activity ; bustling <a busy seaport> 3. foolishly or intrusively active ; meddling 4. full of distracting detail <a busy design> • busily adverb • busyness noun Synonyms: busy, industrious, diligent, assiduous, sedulous mean actively engaged or occupied. busy chiefly stresses activity as opposed to idleness or leisure <too busy to spend time with the children>. industrious implies characteristic or habitual devotion to work <industrious employees>. diligent suggests earnest application to some specific object or pursuit <very diligent in her pursuit of a degree>. assiduous stresses careful and unremitting application <assiduous practice>. sedulous implies painstaking and persevering application <a sedulous investigation of the murder>. II. verb (busied; busying) Date: before 12th century transitive verb to make busy ; occupy intransitive verb bustle <small boats busied to and fro — Quentin Crewe>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.