bewildered or confused.
lost in thought; preoccupied.
to bewilder or confuse (someone).
Contemporary Examples

But the prevailing emotion that day, even among us awardees, was a bemused sense of boredom, restlessness and insatiability.
The Medal of Honor Disgrace Brian Van Reet March 25, 2014

I guess most people will respond to this with bemused cynical eye-rolling.
In non-Charlotte News, Paul Ryan Amazing Hypocrisy Watch Michael Tomasky September 5, 2012

I suspect Hillary is bemused by all the talk—none of which she has fed.
Paul Begala on Hillary Clinton’s Coming Run for the White House in 2016 Paul Begala April 13, 2012

A bemused line reading sneaks in when you are anticipating a hammy hard sell.
It’s OK to Like ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Kevin Fallon September 22, 2014

Messina would introduce himself to bemused staffers and ask them to visit his office for a second or two.
No Drama Obama’s Dramatic 2012 Reelection Campaign Richard Wolffe September 11, 2013

Historical Examples

She scarce listened, for at first she was bemused by two thoughts.
The Job Sinclair Lewis

M’Clare says in a bemused sort of way He will be thirty-seven in a couple of months.
The Lost Kafoozalum Pauline Ashwell

His passions were aflame, and his bemused brain was incapable of reckoning cost.
The Heart of Unaga Ridgwell Cullum

She was amazed, bemused—deep down in her heart there was a great fear.
Shadows of Flames Amelie Rives

The effect of his potations was still upon him, and his mind was bemused.
No Defense, Complete Gilbert Parker

preoccupied; lost in thought
(transitive) to confuse; bewilder

1735, past participle adjective from bemuse (v.). Related: Bemusedly.

“to make utterly confused,” from be- + muse (cf. amuse); attested from 1735 but probably older, as Pope (1705) punned on it as “devoted utterly to the Muses.”


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