Amuse



to hold the attention of (someone) pleasantly; entertain or divert in an enjoyable or cheerful manner:
She amused the guests with witty conversation.
to cause mirth, laughter, or the like, in:
The comedian amused the audience with a steady stream of jokes.
to cause (time, leisure, etc.) to pass agreeably.
Archaic. to keep in expectation by flattery, pretenses, etc.
Obsolete.

to engross; absorb.
to puzzle; distract.

Contemporary Examples

Still, it is the small numbers that amuse me the most…and make me wonder.
Ruth’s Secret Stash Allan Dodds Frank March 14, 2009

The purpose of art,” Bemelmans once said, “is to console and amuse—myself, and, I hope, others.
Madeline’s New York Moment: Ludwig Bemelmans’ Heroine Comes Home Erin Cunningham July 7, 2014

His masters would then amuse themselves by pelting him with bones.
Persian Fire and Rubicon (Full) David Frum September 22, 2012

It is quite extensive and the gasps from both women (for size) and men (for price) are bound to amuse.
The Easygoing Flair of San Francisco Jolie Hunt April 9, 2010

The Embassy produced a short video in advance of the trip, which, in the spirit of our times, is meant to both inform and amuse.
Obama And Netanyahu As Bobbleheads Emily L. Hauser March 19, 2013

Historical Examples

They are not written simply to amuse, but have a graver purpose.
Stories of Invention Edward E. Hale

Novels are taken up to amuse the vacant hour—in this consists their use.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 Various

But he is so accustomed to them; it is all the same to him what those women are, provided they amuse him.
The Correspondence of Madame, Princess Palatine, Mother of the Regent; of Marie-Adlade de Savoie, Duchesse de Bourgogne; and of Madame de Maintenon, in Relation to Saint-Cyr Charlotte-Elisabeth, duchesse d Orlans; Marie Adelaide, of Savoy, Duchess of Burgundy; and Madame de Maintenon

This Mr. Fleurant and Mr. Purgon amuse themselves finely with your body.
The Imaginary Invalid Molire

Everyone seems to hate me, and yet I was intended to amuse people.
The Patchwork Girl of Oz L. Frank Baum

verb (transitive)
to keep pleasantly occupied; entertain; divert
to cause to laugh or smile
v.

late 15c., “to divert the attention, beguile, delude,” from Middle French amuser “divert, cause to muse,” from a “at, to” (but here probably a causal prefix) + muser “ponder, stare fixedly” (see muse (v.)). Sense of “divert from serious business, tickle the fancy of” is recorded from 1630s, but through 18c. the primary meaning was “deceive, cheat” by first occupying the attention. Bemuse retains more of the original meaning. Related: Amused; amusing.

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    noun an appetizer before a meal noun any small bite of food or appetizer-sized portion, often served before a meal; also called amuse-gueule Word Origin 1968; French ‘that which amuses the mouth’ Usage Note cooking



  • Amuse-gueule

    noun See amuse-bouche

  • Amused

    pleasurably entertained, occupied, or diverted. displaying : an amused expression on her face. aroused to mirth. to hold the attention of (someone) pleasantly; entertain or divert in an enjoyable or cheerful manner: She amused the guests with witty conversation. to cause mirth, laughter, or the like, in: The comedian amused the audience with a steady […]



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