Definition of amuse
- She tried to amuse the child with a story.
- His jokes don't amuse me.
It amuses me to think of how he looked when I last saw him.
a funny story that never fails to amuse
He amused himself with a game of solitaire.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'amuse.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Many people link bemused with amused, believing that the former word carries the meaning “amused, with a touch of something else.” While this was not its original sense, bemused has been used in such a fashion for long enough, and by enough people, that the meaning “having feelings of wry amusement especially from something that is surprising or perplexing" has become established. You may use bemuse in this fashion if you wish, but bear in mind that some people find it objectionable, insisting that bemused and amused are entirely distinct and that bemused properly means “marked by confusion or bewilderment.” It is worth noting that before bemused indicated confusion it had the meaning (especially among poets) “devoted to the Muses.”
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
: 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
What made you want to look up amuse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
investment of mental or emotional energy
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