- pleasantly entertaining or diverting: an amusing speaker.
- causing laughter or mirth; humorously entertaining: an amusing joke.
Origin of amusing
SynonymsSee more synonyms for amusing on Thesaurus.com
- 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 for amuse on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for amusing
But his ranking Democratic member just told an amusing story about Issa.Kissy-Face The Nation: Washington’s Power Elite Smooch Bob Schieffer
November 18, 2014
He's polite and amusing, inventing comic voices to deceive friends.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
A comedy titan who was always the center of attention, amusing even the most hardened of cynics with his manic energy.Robin Williams, Hollywood’s Grand Jester, Is Dead at 63
August 12, 2014
But for every amusing World Cup story like this one, there seems to be at least one that infuriates.What Is It About Soccer That Brings Out the Hooligan in Its Fans?
June 25, 2014
Less than a month later, Christie got the least amusing news of his career.Christie Aides Can Keep Bridgegate Emails Under Wraps
April 10, 2014
The husband in my case was to be an inconvenience, but doubtless an amusing one.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
It is amusing to read Tarleton's pompous account of this pursuit.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
The girl was amusing enough, and, indeed, a most likable person at her best.Within the Law
I felt as if I were amusing a nice boy; he hardly came to my shoulder.The Bacillus of Beauty
And now I have told you almost all that is amusing or instructive in the childhood of Christina.Biographical Stories
- mildly entertaining; pleasantly diverting; causing a smile or laugh
- to keep pleasantly occupied; entertain; divert
- to cause to laugh or smile
Word Origin and History for amusing
c.1600, "cheating;" present participle adjective from amuse (v.). Sense of "interesting" is from 1712; that of "pleasantly entertaining, tickling to the fancy" is from 1826. Noted late 1920s as a vogue word. Amusive has been tried in all senses since 18c. and might be useful, but it never caught on. Related: Amusingly.
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.