Definition of bemuse
3 : to cause to have feelings of wry or tolerant amusement seems truly bemused that people beyond his circle in Seattle would be interested in his ruminations — Ruth B. Smith
bemusementplay \-ˈmyüz-mənt\ noun
bemuse was our Word of the Day on 02/19/2017. Hear the podcast!
Examples of bemuse in a Sentence
a public that seemed more bemused by the shenanigans of celebrities than by a war being waged half a world away
the stage mishap momentarily bemused the actress
Did You Know?
In 1735, British poet Alexander Pope lamented, in rhyme, being besieged by "a parson much bemus'd in beer." The cleric in question was apparently one of a horde of would-be poets who plagued Pope with requests that he read their verses. Pope meant that the parson had found his muse - his inspiration - in beer. That use of bemus'd harks back to a 1705 letter in which Pope wrote of "Poets … irrecoverably Be-mus'd." In both letter and poem, Pope used bemused to allude to being inspired by or devoted to one of the Muses, the Greek sister goddesses of art, music, and literature. The lexicographers who followed him, however, interpreted "bemus'd in beer" as meaning "left confused by beer," and their confusion gave rise to the first modern sense of bemused above.
First Known Use of bemuse
BEMUSE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of bemuse for English Language Learners
: to cause (someone) to be confused and often also somewhat amused
BEMUSE Defined for Kids
Definition of bemuse for Students
: to cause to be confused and often also somewhat amused He was bemused by all the attention he was receiving.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up bemuse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).