Green’s Dictionary of Slang

busted (out) adj.

also busted down, busted up
[bust v.1 (2a)]

1. (orig. US) without money, bankrupt.

[US]Knickerbocker (N.Y.) X 170: I’ve hear’n tell since that he was a busted man [DA].
[US]N.Y. Daily Trib. 28 Sept. 2/5: Busted! — William Henry Basteed, Proprietor of the Buffalo Penny Press, has left that city after cheating his washer-woman and effecting a fair amount of kindred petty villainies.
[US]G.W. Whitman in Civil War Letters 20 Oct. 73: I wonder whats the reason they dont pay us off. Uncle Sam aint busted up is he.
[US]M.M. Pomeroy Nonsense 25: One of the party got clean busted by making a fifty-dollar blind good on a four-flush, which didn’t fill.
[US]‘Mark Twain’ Roughing It 315: To use its own phraseology, it [i.e. a mob] came there ‘flush’ and went away ‘busted’.
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 71: Wunst I had foteen dollars, but I tuck to specalat’n’, en got busted out. [Ibid.] 73: Nex day de one-laigged nigger say de bank’s busted.
[US]C.A. Siringo Texas Cow Boy (1950) 76: I built it from an old torn down house that I bought [...] on ‘tick’ for I was then financially ‘busted’.
[US]H. Blossom Checkers 183: The First National Bank of Little Rock has gone up – busted.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 13 Jul. 10/4: So you think he only wants to marry you for your money. Tell him your dad’s busted up, house mortgaged, an’ a bill-o’-sale on the furniture; then see which way he jumps.
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 157: As a rule when I’m busted I settle the wif’ in some boardin’-house on tick, an’ stay by my lonely till I’ve located some more oof.
[UK]Sporting Times 18 July 1/5: Sick and tired of the importunities of a well-known busted turfite, one of his frequent contributors turned upon him at last.
[US]C.E. Mulford Bar-20 Days 63: I’m busted wide open, except for a measly dollar.
[US]R. Lardner ‘My Roomy’ in Coll. Short Stories (1941) 345: I thought he was prob’ly busted, and a bunch o’ money might make things all right for him.
[US]O.O. McIntyre New York Day by Day 3 Mar. [synd. col.] Two very rich sisters [...] had reached the end of their resources. In a word – busted.
[US]C. Panzram Journal of Murder in Gaddis & Long (2002) 41: When I left there [...] I was busted, and to get a start with a few bucks I took a job.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Judgement Day in Studs Lonigan (1936) 710: The city is busted [...] there’s plenty of people working for the city, besides the school teachers, who aren’t getting their pay.
[US]D. Runyon ‘Madame La Gimp’ in Runyon on Broadway (1954) 239: A busted down old Spanish doll.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 33: A busted ragpicker would have given those togs the go-by.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Tomboy (1952) 94: Lucky put his last quarter in the juke box [...] ‘Well, I’m busted’.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 331: MIT was MIT when Harvard was a pup, / And MIT will be MIT when Harvard’s busted up.
[US]‘Toney Betts’ Across the Board 137: Then he was busted out on an odds-on shot.
[US]P. Crump Burn, Killer, Burn! 184: ‘I’m busted,’ he said dejectedly.
[US]Ray Charles ‘Busted’ [lyrics] I’m busted. I’m broke, no bread. I mean like nothing.
[US]B. Jackson Thief’s Primer 128: Maybe they’re playing poker and one of them gets busted [...] I might give him a hundred or so.
[US]E. Torres After Hours 53: When you broke and busted out, the shine of joolery is blindin’.
[US]G. Pelecanos Shame the Devil 96: ‘You flush?’ ‘I’m about busted flat in Baton Rouge and waitin’ on a train.’.

2. see busted adj.1 (1)

3. see busted adj.1 (5)

4. see bust-out adj.2 (3)