\ ˈmyüz How to pronounce muse (audio) \
mused; musing

Definition of muse

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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?"


noun (1)

Definition of muse (Entry 2 of 3)

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


noun (2)

Definition of muse (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Other Words from muse


muser noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.

Examples of muse in a Sentence

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

First Known Use of muse


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for muse

Verb and Noun (1)

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

Noun (2)

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

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Learn More about muse

Time Traveler for muse

Time Traveler

The first known use of muse was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Muse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for muse



English Language Learners Definition of muse

: to think about something carefully or thoroughly
: to think or say (something) in a thoughtful way


\ ˈmyüz How to pronounce muse (audio) \
mused; musing

Kids Definition of muse

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

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