Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Healthily plump and ample of figure: "A generation ago, fat babies were considered healthy and buxom actresses were popular, but society has since come to worship thinness” ( Robert A. Hamilton).
  • adj. Full-bosomed.
  • adj. Archaic Lively, vivacious, and gay.
  • adj. Obsolete Obedient; yielding; pliant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Having a full, voluptuous figure, especially possessing large breasts.
  • adj. Healthy, lively.
  • adj. Cheerful, lively, happy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Yielding; pliable or compliant; ready to obey; obedient; tractable; docile; meek; humble.
  • adj. Having the characteristics of health, vigor, and comeliness, combined with a gay, lively manner; stout and rosy; jolly; frolicsome.
  • adj. having a pronounced womanly shape.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Yielding to pressure; flexible; unresisting.
  • Obedient; obsequious; submissive.
  • Having health and comeliness together with a lively disposition; healthy and cheerful; brisk; jolly; lively and vigorous.
  • Showing vigor or robustness; sturdy; fresh; brisk: said of things: as, “buxom valour,”
  • Amorous; wanton.
  • To be obedient; yield.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of a woman's body) having a large bosom and pleasing curves
  • adj. (of a female body) healthily plump and vigorous

Etymologies

Middle English, obedient, from Old English *būhsum, from būgan, to bend, submit; see bheug- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English buxum, buhsum ("bendsome, flexible, pliant, obedient"), from Old English *būhsum (“bendsome, pliant”), a derivative of Old English būgan ("to bend, bow"), equivalent to bow +‎ -some. Cognate with Dutch buigzaam ("flexible, pliant"), German biegsam ("flexible, pliant"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • None other of the deathless gods is to blame, but only cloud-gathering Zeus who gave her to Hades, her father's brother, to be called his buxom wife.

    Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

  • Russell, best known as the buxom star of 1940s and 1950s movie, died of respiratory problems at her home in Santa Maria, central California, according to Etta Waterfield, her daughter-in-law.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Russell, best known as the buxom star of 1940s and 1950s movie, died of respiratory failure at her home in Santa Maria, central California, her family said.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Russell, best known as the buxom star of 1940s and 1950s films, died of respiratory problems at her home in Santa Maria, central California, according to Etta Waterfield, her daughter-in-law.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Henry seemed to have so much guilt attached to his marriage with Katherine; one wonders if it was because she was, as Henry himself testified, "buxom" in the bedchamber.

    The Six Wives of Henry VIII

  • English marriage rites until the fourteenth century, when the wife promised to be "buxom" (which then meant submissive) and "bonair"

    Little Essays of Love and Virtue

  • Hades, her father’s brother, to be called his buxom wife.

    Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, and Homerica

  • Madame Guiccioli was a kind of buxom parlour-boarder, compressing herself artificially into dignity and elegance, and fancying she walked, in the eyes of the whole world, a heroine by the side of a poet.

    The Life of Lord Byron

  • She had a riotous, inappropriate sense of humor, which I inherited, along with her "buxom" figure.

    RVABlogs

  • (after all, "buxom" and "consumptive" aren't usually written about the same performer in the same performance by critics; in this case, sadly, it happened).

    Opera Chic

Comments

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  • obedient or yielding (etymologically from the root for 'bend') is Century's Dictionary first definition.
    Also in paradoxical fashion is #5: Showing vigor or robustness; sturdy; fresh; brisk: said of things: as, “buxom valour,”

    September 5, 2011

  • Origin, Middle English: from the stem of Old English "būgan" (to bend) + "-some". The original sense was (compliant, obliging), later (lively and good-tempered), influenced by the traditional association of plumpness and good health with an easygoing nature.

    November 21, 2008

  • Well, if that's what you're into...

    November 13, 2008

  • The word 'buxom' at one time meant 'obedient'.

    May 7, 2008