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muse

[myooz]
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verb (used without object), mused, mus·ing.
  1. to think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
  2. Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly.
verb (used with object), mused, mus·ing.
  1. to meditate on.
  2. to comment thoughtfully or ruminate upon.

Origin of muse

1300–50; Middle English musen to mutter, gaze meditatively on, be astonished < Middle French muser, perhaps ultimately derivative of Medieval Latin mūsum muzzle
Related formsmus·er, noun
Can be confusedmews muse

Synonyms

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1. cogitate, ruminate, think; dream. 1, 3. ponder, contemplate, deliberate.

Muse

[myooz]
noun
  1. Classical Mythology.
    1. any of a number of sister goddesses, originally given as Aoede (song), Melete (meditation), and Mneme (memory), but latterly and more commonly as the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who presided over various arts: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (religious music), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy); identified by the Romans with the Camenae.
    2. any goddess presiding over a particular art.
  2. (sometimes lowercase) the goddess or the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker, or the like.
  3. (lowercase) the genius or powers characteristic of a poet.

Origin of Muse

1350–1400; Middle English Muse < Middle French < Latin Mūsa < Greek Moûsa
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for muse

muse1

verb
  1. (when intr, often foll by on or about) to reflect (about) or ponder (on), usually in silence
  2. (intr) to gaze thoughtfully
noun
  1. archaic a state of abstraction
Derived Formsmuser, nounmuseful, adjectivemusefully, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Old French muser, perhaps from mus snout, from Medieval Latin mūsus

muse2

noun
  1. a goddess that inspires a creative artist, esp a poet

Word Origin

C14: from Old French, from Latin Mūsa, from Greek Mousa a Muse

Muse

noun
  1. Greek myth any of nine sister goddesses, each of whom was regarded as the protectress of a different art or science. Daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the nine are Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, and Urania
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for muse

v.

"to reflect, to be absorbed in thought," mid-14c., from Old French muser (12c.) "to ponder, dream, wonder; loiter, waste time," literally "to stand with one's nose in the air" (or, possibly, "to sniff about" like a dog who has lost the scent), from muse "muzzle," from Gallo-Romance *musa "snout," of unknown origin. Probably influenced in sense by muse (n.). Related: Mused; musing.

n.

late 14c., protectors of the arts, from Old French Muse and directly from Latin Musa, from Greek Mousa, "the Muse," also "music, song," from PIE root *men- "to think, remember" (see mind (n.)). Meaning "inspiring goddess of a particular poet" is from late 14c. The traditional names and specialties of the nine Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, are: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (love poetry, lyric art), Euterpe (music, especially flute), Melpomene (tragedy), Polymnia (hymns), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), Urania (astronomy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper