- 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.
Origin of amuse
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for amuse
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
July 8, 2014
A purse can impress and intimidate, bewilder, berate, or amuse.The Language of Margaret Thatcher’s Handbags
April 8, 2013
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 20, 2013
His masters would then amuse themselves by pelting him with bones.Persian Fire and Rubicon (Full)
September 23, 2012
Pandering—thy name is Newt In Florida, will it bear fruit So obvious it does amuse: "Mitt cut Kosher meals for Jews!"
Novels are taken up to amuse the vacant hour—in this consists their use.
This Mr. Fleurant and Mr. Purgon amuse themselves finely with your body.The Imaginary Invalid
This was not a great sorrow for Rico,—he knew how to amuse himself.Rico and Wiseli
We amuse him more than the hackneyed comrades he has worn out.Night and Morning, Complete
I must now amuse and put her off—at all events for the present.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
- to keep pleasantly occupied; entertain; divert
- to cause to laugh or smile
Word Origin and History for amuse
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.