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amusing

[uh-myoo-zing]
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adjective
  1. pleasantly entertaining or diverting: an amusing speaker.
  2. causing laughter or mirth; humorously entertaining: an amusing joke.
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Origin of amusing

First recorded in 1590–1600; amuse + -ing2
Related formsa·mus·ing·ly, adverba·mus·ing·ness, nounqua·si-a·mus·ing, adjectivequa·si-a·mus·ing·ly, adverbun·a·mus·ing, adjectiveun·a·mus·ing·ly, adverbun·a·mus·ing·ness, noun

Synonyms for amusing

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1. charming, cheering, lively. 2. laughable, delightful, funny.

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.

amuse

[uh-myooz]
verb (used with object), a·mused, a·mus·ing.
  1. to hold the attention of (someone) pleasantly; entertain or divert in an enjoyable or cheerful manner: She amused the guests with witty conversation.
  2. to cause mirth, laughter, or the like, in: The comedian amused the audience with a steady stream of jokes.
  3. to cause (time, leisure, etc.) to pass agreeably.
  4. Archaic. to keep in expectation by flattery, pretenses, etc.
  5. Obsolete.
    1. to engross; absorb.
    2. to puzzle; distract.
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Origin of amuse

1470–80; < Middle French amuser “to divert, amuse”; see a-5, muse
Related formsa·mus·a·ble, adjectivea·mus·er, nounun·a·mus·a·ble, adjectiveun·a·mus·a·bly, adverb

Synonyms for amuse

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

Related Words for amusing

enjoyable, gratifying, diverting, humorous, interesting, charming, engaging, delightful, lively, fun, droll, entertaining, pleasing, pleasant, comical, campy, camp, cheering, enchanting, joshing

Examples from the Web for amusing

Contemporary Examples of amusing

Historical Examples of amusing


British Dictionary definitions for amusing

amusing

adjective
  1. mildly entertaining; pleasantly diverting; causing a smile or laugh
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Derived Formsamusingly, adverb

amuse

verb (tr)
  1. to keep pleasantly occupied; entertain; divert
  2. to cause to laugh or smile
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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

Word Origin and History for amusing

adj.

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.

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amuse

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper