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[myooz] /myuz/
verb (used without object), mused, musing.
to think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly.
verb (used with object), mused, musing.
to meditate on.
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 forms
muser, noun
Can be confused
mews, muse.
1. cogitate, ruminate, think; dream. 1, 3. ponder, contemplate, deliberate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for muser
Historical Examples
  • So the muser mused in his quiet study, with the roar of the water in his ears.

    Mrs. Maxon Protests Anthony Hope
  • But 'hungry generations' soon tread down the muser in a city.

    Desperate Remedies Thomas Hardy
  • The muser started, for a hand grasped his arm, and shook him.

    Trevethlan (Vol 3 of 3) William Davy Watson
  • To the muser there was no time; time had dribbled out and reverie had taken its place.

    An Arkansas Planter Opie Percival Read
  • Sweeter dreams now woo the muser, warming into passion, pulsing with a more eager throb of desire, in changed tone and pace.

  • Except Rereworth and his late partner, the muser might be said to know no one in the whole of the gay assembly.

    Trevethlan: Volume 1 William Davy Watson
  • The muser finished disrobing and donned his night robes, but it was a long time before he felt like slumber.

    A Black Adonis

    Linn Boyd Porter
  • The muser dwelt long on this invocation, pacing to and fro on the narrow strip of rock.

    Trevethlan: (Vol 2 of 3) William Davy Watson
British Dictionary definitions for muser


when intr, often foll by on or about. to reflect (about) or ponder (on), usually in silence
(intransitive) to gaze thoughtfully
(archaic) a state of abstraction
Derived Forms
muser, noun
museful, adjective
musefully, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Old French muser, perhaps from mus snout, from Medieval Latin mūsus


a goddess that inspires a creative artist, esp a poet
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin Mūsa, from Greek Mousa a Muse


(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
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Word Origin and History for muser



"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.



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
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