\ ə-ˈmyüz How to pronounce amuse (audio) \
amused; amusing

Definition of amuse

transitive verb

1a : to entertain or occupy in a light, playful, or pleasant manner She tried to amuse the child with a story.
b : to appeal to the sense of humor of His jokes don't amuse me.
2a archaic : to divert the attention of so as to deceive
b obsolete : to occupy the attention of : absorb
c obsolete : distract, bewilder

intransitive verb

obsolete : muse

Other Words from amuse

amuser noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Are amused and bemused synonyms?

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.”

Examples of amuse in a Sentence

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.
Recent Examples on the Web And now this city that exists to amuse is hosting full houses once again. Tony Perrottet, Travel + Leisure, 24 Apr. 2022 Preteens can amuse themselves in the upstairs games room, while teenagers can play pool or watch movies in the media room on the lower level. Kathy Orton, Washington Post, 17 June 2022 Indulging in the Y2Ks Archive does more than amuse. Cassidy George, Vogue, 2 June 2022 His success on Twitter arose from his capacity to outrage or amuse a global audience of both enemies and acolytes (Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kim Jong Un, as well as your Trumpist cousin across town). Steve Coll, The New Yorker, 5 June 2022 There were no cellphones to amuse us back then, and the darkness prevented us from flirting with cute boys in other cars. Sarah Lyall, New York Times, 21 May 2022 Dustin butts in and tries to rewrite the script, while the rest of the cast try to amuse themselves during their down time. Peter Debruge, Variety, 31 Mar. 2022 Venus is hunkered down in your material sector, giving you plenty of pretty things to amuse yourself with. Tarot Astrologers,, 19 Mar. 2022 While the focus will be on the on-field battle, for many fans the ads are just as big a part of Super Bowl Sunday, with a stacked lineup of musicians slated to amuse and delight during breaks in the action from SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 10 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of amuse

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for amuse

Middle French amuser, from Old French, from a- (from Latin ad-) + muser to muse

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Time Traveler for amuse

Time Traveler

The first known use of amuse was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near amuse

Amur tiger



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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Amuse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for amuse


\ ə-ˈmyüz How to pronounce amuse (audio) \
amused; amusing

Kids Definition of amuse

1 : to entertain with something pleasant She amused herself with a book.
2 : to please the sense of humor of We found his silly jokes amusing.

Choose the Right Synonym for amuse

amuse and entertain mean to cause the time to pass in an agreeable way. amuse is used for holding someone's interest with something that is pleasant or humorous. The toy amused the child for hours. entertain is used when something special is done to provide a person with amusement. Celebrities put on a show to entertain the troops.

More from Merriam-Webster on amuse

Nglish: Translation of amuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amuse for Arabic Speakers


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