Synonyms & Antonyms of amuse

to cause (someone) to pass the time agreeably occupied
  • the older girl amused her four-year-old sister at the family reunion by showing her off to all the relatives

Synonyms for amuse

Words Related to amuse

Near Antonyms for amuse

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Frequently Asked Questions About amuse

How is the word amuse different from other verbs like it?

The words divert and entertain are common synonyms of amuse. While all three words mean "to pass or cause to pass the time pleasantly," amuse suggests that one's attention is engaged lightly.

amuse yourselves while I make dinner

When might divert be a better fit than amuse?

While in some cases nearly identical to amuse, divert implies distracting attention from worry or routine occupation especially by something funny.

a light comedy to divert the tired businessman

Where would entertain be a reasonable alternative to amuse?

The words entertain and amuse are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, entertain suggests supplying amusement by specially contrived methods.

a magician entertaining children at a party

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Time Traveler for amuse

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The first known use of amuse was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Amuse.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on amuse

Nglish: Translation of amuse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of amuse for Arabic Speakers


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