be·​mused bi-ˈmyüzd How to pronounce bemused (audio)
: 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
: lost in thought or reverie
… as distant and bemused as a Professor Emeritus listening to the prattling of his freshman class.Michael Straight
: 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
bemusedly 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 Indeed, their responses range from complete indifference to feigning slumber to bemused bewilderment to outright hostility from a young blonde boy, who stands up and boos at song’s end. Spin Staff, SPIN, 25 Jan. 2024 Moyer, at least, brings a reptilian menace that’s distinct from Ian McShane’s bemused stoicism in the 2000 version. Alison Herman, Variety, 25 Jan. 2024 For now, while some people expressed deep discomfort from someone imitating Attenborough's voice without permission, many others seem bemused by the demo. Benj Edwards, Ars Technica, 16 Nov. 2023 On Tuesday, after a group of Republicans walked out of a classified briefing on Ukraine, Murphy addressed the press from the Capitol Rotunda with a look of bemused outrage. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, 7 Dec. 2023 Hess depicted Watt before a map of the United States wearing a bemused expression and sporting oversized white glasses. Angelica Aboulhosn, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Nov. 2023 Almost all of Mobius’ folksy, amiably bemused charm comes from Wilson. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Oct. 2023 Mann left the Clippers’ preseason finale Thursday evening inside Arena wearing a bemused smile. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2023 The pair were captured laughing at something on Ice Spice’s phone and sharing equally bemused looks during an artist’s acceptance speech. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 13 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bemused.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1734, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bemused was in 1734

Dictionary Entries Near bemused

Cite this Entry

“Bemused.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

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