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  1. anything that amuses; pastime; entertainment.
  2. the act of amuse.
  3. the state of being amused; enjoyment.
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Origin of amusement

From Middle French, dating back to 1595–1605; see origin at amuse, -ment
Related formsself-a·muse·ment, noun

Synonyms for amusement

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for amusement

enjoyment, delight, diversion, pleasure, laughter, hilarity, hobby, recreation, merriment, ball, picnic, entertainment, play, action, cheer, gratification, fun, mirth, pleasing, hoopla

British Dictionary definitions for amusement


  1. something that amuses, such as a game or other pastime
  2. a mechanical device used for entertainment, as at a fair
  3. the act of amusing or the state or quality of being amused
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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 amusement


c.1600, "diversion of attention," especially in military actions, from French amusement, noun of action from amuser (see amuse).

And because all bold and irreverent Speeches touching matters of high nature, and all malicious and false Reports tending to Sedition, or to the Amusement of Our People, are punishable ... (etc.) [Charles II, Proclamation of Oct. 26, 1688]

Meaning "a pastime, play, game, anything which pleasantly diverts the attention" (from duty, work, etc.) is from 1670s, originally depreciative; meaning "pleasurable diversion" attested from 1690s. Amusement hall is from 1862; amusement park first recorded 1897.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper