Definition of amuse in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈmyo͞oz/


[with object]
1Cause (someone) to find something funny; entertain: he made faces to amuse her (as adjective amused) people looked on with amused curiosity
More example sentences
  • We were delightfully amused by the cops who came onto the beach to check everyone for booze.
  • Alicia's polite and cheerful demeanor amuses the man, and he begins to chuckle until the tender sparkle in her eye renders him silent.
  • I'm glad you like it, the name thing amuses me every time as well.
2Provide interesting and enjoyable occupation for (someone): the hotel has planned many activities to amuse its guests they amused themselves digging through an old encyclopedia (as adjective amused) elegant shops that will keep any browser amused for hours
More example sentences
  • Have I been put here to entertain you or amuse you, is your life that boring?
  • They claim it will achieve its goals to welcome, accommodate, entertain and amuse visitors.
  • In a couple of minutes, I can whip out jumping frogs or hungry mouths that amuse kids for hours.
entertain, make laugh, delight, divert, cheer (up), please, charm, tickle
informal tickle pink, crack up
occupy, engage, busy, employ, distract, absorb, engross;
interest, entertain, divert



Pronunciation: /-zidlē/
sense 1.
Example sentences
  • Everyone has probably amusedly played armchair Darwinian psychologist at some point thanks to the theory's virtually unlimited explanatory power.
  • Their opinion of the building is probably best described as amusedly critical.
  • I nodded my head, amusedly accepting the title.


Late 15th century (in the sense 'delude, deceive'): from Old French amuser 'entertain, deceive', from a- (expressing causal effect) + muser 'stare stupidly'. The current senses date from the mid 17th century.

  • In its early senses amuse had more to do with deception than entertainment or humour. Dating from the late 15th century and coming from an Old French word meaning ‘to stare stupidly’ (also the source of to muse), it originally meant ‘to delude or deceive’. In the 17th and 18th centuries to amuse someone usually meant to divert their attention in order to mislead them. In military use it meant to divert the attention of the enemy away from what you really intend to do, so Lord Nelson, wrote in 1796: ‘It is natural to suppose their Fleet was to amuse ours whilst they cross from Leghorn.’ We are not amused is associated with Queen Victoria (1819–1901). It is first recorded in Notebooks of a Spinster Lady (1919) by Caroline Holland—Victoria is supposed to have made the stern put-down in 1900 to a man who had made an inappropriate joke. There is no firm evidence that she said it, though, and her biographer Stanley Weintraub (b.1929) claimed that ‘she was often amused’.

Words that rhyme with amuse

abuse, accuse, adieux, bemuse, billets-doux, blues, booze, bruise, choose, Clews, confuse, contuse, cruise, cruse, Cruz, diffuse, do's, Druze, effuse, enthuse, excuse, fuse (US fuze), Hughes, incuse, interfuse, lose, Mahfouz, mews, misuse, muse, news, ooze, Ouse, perfuse, peruse, rhythm-and-blues, ruse, schmooze, snooze, suffuse, Toulouse, transfuse, trews, use, Vaduz, Veracruz, who's, whose, youse

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: a·muse

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