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 bemusedly (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 Like The Talking Heads or Devo, the Beastie Boys bring that art-school vibe of holding the world at bemused arm’s length, that trick of reflecting the world back to you from an oblique point of view. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Beastie Boys Keep It On and On," 24 Apr. 2020 Only a hint of a smirk or a bemused look from a child outs Mr Eijkelboom as an impostor, mocking the ideal of a husband and father by using a different supporting cast each time. The Economist, "Denizens of Mars What does it mean to be “manly”?," 25 Feb. 2020 Anfield was stunned into total silence as coach Jurgen Klopp looked bemused on the touchline, arms held out disbelievingly. Matias Grez, CNN, "Atletico Madrid stuns Liverpool at Anfield to dump holder out of the Champions League," 11 Mar. 2020 The book alternates between short, conversational discussions of literary techniques and devices and wry, often bemused anecdotes about Palahniuk’s experiences on the literary circuit. oregonlive, "Chuck Palahniuk plans Portland book signing for his new memoir-slash-writing workshop," 3 Jan. 2020 This fascination was blended with a healthy dose of bemused skepticism, though. Yuval Levin, National Review, "The Historian as Moralist," 31 Dec. 2019 But there was something about her, a bemused hauteur or suppressed hilarity -- plus that flame of hair. oregonlive, "Fun-loving ‘Torchy’ Jessing ‘autographed’ knife she used to stab gangster boyfriend, becoming 1950s Portland celebrity," 3 Dec. 2019 Scores of police, some armed with submachine guns, rushed to the scene, ushering bemused office workers and tourists out of an area packed with office buildings, banks, restaurants and bars. Danica Kirka, The Denver Post, "London police shoot suspect dead after “terrorist” stabbings," 29 Nov. 2019 Scores of police, some armed with submachine guns, rushed to the scene, ushering bemused office workers and tourists out of an area packed with office buildings, banks, restaurants and bars. Arkansas Online, "London police shoot suspect dead after 'terrorist' stabbings," 29 Nov. 2019

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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Cite this Entry

“Bemused.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bemused. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on bemused

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bemused

Nglish: Translation of bemused for Spanish Speakers

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