1

muse

play
verb \ ˈmyüz \

Definition of muse

mused; musing
intransitive verb
1 :to become absorbed in thought; especially :to think about something carefully and thoroughly
  • musing about what might have been
2 archaic :wonder, marvel
transitive verb
:to think or say (something) in a thoughtful way
  • "I could sell the house," she mused, "but where would I go?"

muser

noun

Examples of muse in a Sentence

  1. I could sell the house, she mused, but then where would I go?

Did You Know?

The Muses were the nine Greek goddesses who presided over the arts (including music) and literature. A shrine to the Muses was called in Latin a museum. An artist or poet about to begin work would call on his particular Muse to inspire him, and a poem itself might begin with such a call; thus, Homer's Odyssey begins, "Sing to me of the man, Muse" (that is, of Odysseus). Today a muse may be one's special creative spirit, but some artists and writers have also chosen living human beings to serve as their muses.

Origin and Etymology of muse

Middle English, from Anglo-French muser to gape, idle, muse, from Old French *mus mouth of an animal, from Medieval Latin musus

Synonym Discussion of muse

ponder, meditate, muse, ruminate mean to consider or examine attentively or deliberately. ponder implies a careful weighing of a problem or, often, prolonged inconclusive thinking about a matter.
    • pondered the course of action
meditate implies a definite focusing of one's thoughts on something so as to understand it deeply.
    • meditated on the meaning of life
muse suggests a more or less focused daydreaming as in remembrance.
    • mused upon childhood joys
ruminate implies going over the same matter in one's thoughts again and again but suggests little of either purposive thinking or rapt absorption.
    • ruminated on past disappointments

2

muse

noun

Definition of muse

:a state of deep thought or dreamy abstraction
  • thrown into a muse by the book she was reading

Origin and Etymology of muse

see 1muse


3

muse

noun

Definition of muse

1 capitalized :any of the nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology presiding over song and poetry and the arts and sciences
  • Clio is the Greek Muse of history.
2 :a source of inspiration; especially :a guiding genius
  • The writer's beloved wife was his muse.
3 :poet

Origin and Etymology of muse

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin Musa, from Greek Mousa

Other Mythology and Folklore Terms


MUSE Defined for English Language Learners

muse

play
verb

Definition of muse for English Language Learners

  • : to think about something carefully or thoroughly

  • : to think or say (something) in a thoughtful way


MUSE Defined for Kids

muse

play
verb \ ˈmyüz \

Definition of muse for Students

mused; musing
:to think about carefully or thoroughly :ponder
  • She mused over what might have been.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up muse? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a strongly worded attack

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!

  • young-plant-shoots
  • Which of the following is a new sense of the word bunny?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!