bemused

adjective
be·​mused | \ bi-ˈmyüzd How to pronounce bemused (audio) , bē- \

Definition of bemused

1 : marked by confusion or bewilderment : dazed … he was fumbling with the sheets, and looking down at them with a slightly bemused expression as though the stuff before him was in a foreign language …— Robert Penn Warren
2 : lost in thought or reverie … as distant and bemused as a Professor Emeritus listening to the prattling of his freshman class.— Michael Straight
3 : having or showing feelings of wry amusement especially from something that is surprising or perplexing This is not another of those now popular books about a bemused outsider's sojourn in rural France, brimming with colorful locals and heart-warming anecdotes.— J. D. McClatchy

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Other Words from bemused

bemusedly \ bi-​ˈmyü-​zəd-​lē How to pronounce bemused (audio) , bē-​ \ adverb
Harry looked bemusedly at the photograph Colin was brandishing under his nose. — J. K. Rowling

Examples of bemused in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But for all the national eccentricities, the deeper trends at work in British politics have global resonances—not least for bemused observers on this side of the Atlantic. Gerard Baker, WSJ, 10 May 2021 Of course, he was most bemused about the attempt to find evidence of bamboo fibers on the ballots, part of a lunatic right-wing conspiracy theory involving ballots sent from Asia. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 7 May 2021 With her parents’ bemused tolerance, Bechdel took up skiing, jumping rope, calisthenics, and running. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021 Letterman, impressed and a little bemused, has no words. Claire Shaffer, Rolling Stone, 29 Apr. 2021 On a Beijing basketball court in 1971, a young Chinese translator stands bemused while a white American coach explains the game’s finer points: How to be the bigger man, regardless of your size. oregonlive, 26 Apr. 2021 Rachel Sennott plays the protagonist Danielle, an anxious NYU student who moonlights as a sugar baby and runs into one of her clients at the shiva, while Gordon is perfectly cast as Maya, Danielle’s bemused ex-best friend and ex-girlfriend. Rachel Handler, Vulture, 26 Mar. 2021 The police officers present kept a respectful, bemused distance. Amanda Choo Quan, Harper's BAZAAR, 1 Apr. 2021 Electronic artists Porter Robinson and Madeon were both pre-teens at the time of Discovery’s release, and though too young to remember the negative press firsthand, look back on it with bemused derision. Patrick Lyons, Billboard, 12 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bemused.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bemused

1734, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for bemused

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The first known use of bemused was in 1734

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Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bemused.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bemused. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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