verb \ə-ˈmyüz\

: to make someone laugh or smile : to entertain (someone) in a light and pleasant way

: to get the attention of (someone) in a pleasant way as time passes


Full Definition of AMUSE

transitive verb
a archaic :  to divert the attention of so as to deceive
b obsolete :  to occupy the attention of :  absorb
c obsolete :  distract, bewilder
a :  to entertain or occupy in a light, playful, or pleasant manner <amuse the child with a story>
b :  to appeal to the sense of humor of <the joke doesn't amuse me>
intransitive verb
obsolete :  muse
amus·ed·ly \-ˈmyü-zəd-lē\ adverb
amus·er noun

Examples of AMUSE

  1. It amuses me to think of how he looked when I last saw him.
  2. a funny story that never fails to amuse
  3. He amused himself with a game of solitaire.

Origin of AMUSE

Middle French amuser, from Old French, from a- (from Latin ad-) + muser to muse
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of AMUSE

amuse, divert, entertain mean to pass or cause to pass the time pleasantly. amuse suggests that one's attention is engaged lightly <amuse yourselves while I make dinner>. divert implies distracting attention from worry or routine occupation especially by something funny <a light comedy to divert the tired businessman>. entertain suggests supplying amusement by specially contrived methods <a magician entertaining children at a party>.


Next Word in the Dictionary: amuse–bouche
Previous Word in the Dictionary: Amur tiger
All Words Near: amuse

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up amuse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).