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pleasantly entertaining or diverting:
an amusing speaker.
causing laughter or mirth; humorously entertaining:
an amusing joke.
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.

to engross; absorb.
to puzzle; distract.

Contemporary Examples

On Twitter, he reveals himself to be intelligent and amusing.
John Mayer: Artist or Clown? Erin Carlson November 17, 2009

It was amusing to see Berlin street food reinvented and elevated.
Berlin’s Champagne Food Truck Molly Hannon July 22, 2011

If you fancy a bit of a laugh, watching, reading or listening to comedy can be an amusing way to bring the smiles!
Pippa Middleton’s Writing Career is Over Tom Sykes December 20, 2012

The extent to which our companions for the night found this as amusing as we did tended, I suppose, to vary.
11 Best Bits From Rod Stewart’s New Autobiography The Daily Beast October 21, 2012

As promised, here are the responses (from the comments section, Facebook, and Twitter) I found most insightful and amusing.
Why Aren’t There More Women Libertarians, Ctd? Justin Green January 7, 2013

Historical Examples

They should be taught to look at the amusing side of things.
A Word to Women Mrs. C. E. Humphry

The husband in my case was to be an inconvenience, but doubtless an amusing one.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

I recall an amusing anecdote which Mr. Gouverneur told me upon his return from this visit to Richmond.
As I Remember Marian Gouverneur

The girl was amusing enough, and, indeed, a most likable person at her best.
Within the Law Marvin Dana

Of Hogg himself he said much that was amusing and instructive: one anecdote will not soon be forgotten.
The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction Various

mildly entertaining; pleasantly diverting; causing a smile or laugh
verb (transitive)
to keep pleasantly occupied; entertain; divert
to cause to laugh or smile

c.1600, “cheating;” present participle adjective from amuse (v.). Sense of “interesting” is from 1712; that of “pleasantly entertaining, tickling to the fancy” is from 1826. Noted late 1920s as a vogue word. Amusive has been tried in all senses since 18c. and might be useful, but it never caught on. Related: Amusingly.

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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    pleasantly entertaining or diverting: an amusing speaker. causing laughter or mirth; humorously entertaining: an amusing joke. Contemporary Examples The choice of the van, traditionally considered a vehicle for trapping women, amusingly turns the convention on its head. Scarlett Johansson is an Alien Seductress in ‘Under the Skin’ Jimmy So April 2, 2014 Though, amusingly, not […]

  • Amusive

    ; entertaining. Historical Examples It is a mere bagatelle, and as an amusive trifle may not be unacceptable. The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction, Various

  • Amvets

    an organization of U.S. veterans of World War II and more recent wars, founded in 1944. Contemporary Examples In addition to her position with AMVETS, she’s secretary at the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. The Woman Who Shamed Obama Benjamin Sarlin September 20, 2010

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    amwa American Medical Women’s Association American Medical Writers Association

Disclaimer: Amusing definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.