[ uh-myoo-zing ]
/ əˈmyu zɪŋ /


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

Origin of amusing

First recorded in 1590–1600; amuse + -ing2

Related forms

Synonym study

2. Amusing, comical, droll describe that which causes mirth. That which is amusing is quietly humorous or funny in a gentle, good-humored way: The baby's attempts to talk were amusing. That which is comical causes laughter by being incongruous, witty, or ludicrous: His huge shoes made the clown look comical. Droll adds to comical the idea of strange or peculiar, and sometimes that of sly or waggish humor: the droll antics of a kitten; a droll imitation.

Definition for amusing (2 of 2)


[ uh-myooz ]
/ əˈmyuz /

verb (used with object), a·mused, a·mus·ing.

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.
  1. to engross; absorb.
  2. to puzzle; distract.

Origin of amuse

1470–80; < Middle French amuser “to divert, amuse”; see a-5, muse

Related forms

a·mus·a·ble, adjectivea·mus·er, nounun·a·mus·a·ble, adjectiveun·a·mus·a·bly, adverb

Synonym study

Amuse, divert, entertain mean to occupy the attention with something pleasant. That which amuses is usually playful or humorous and pleases the fancy. Divert implies turning the attention from serious thoughts or pursuits to something light, amusing, or lively. That which entertains usually does so because of a plan or program that engages and holds the attention by being pleasing and sometimes instructive.

Usage note

See bemuse. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for amusing

British Dictionary definitions for amusing (1 of 2)


/ (əˈmjuːzɪŋ) /


mildly entertaining; pleasantly diverting; causing a smile or laugh

Derived Forms

amusingly, adverb

British Dictionary definitions for amusing (2 of 2)


/ (əˈmjuːz) /

verb (tr)

to keep pleasantly occupied; entertain; divert
to cause to laugh or smile

Word Origin for amuse

C15: from Old French amuser to cause to be idle, from muser to muse 1
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