There are 2 main definitions of muse in English:

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muse1

Line breaks: muse
Pronunciation: /mjuːz
 
/

noun

1 (Muse) (In Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences.
Example sentences
  • In ancient Greek mythology, Muses were goddesses of science and art who inspired creative endeavors.
  • The word ‘mnemonic’ comes from Mnemosyne, the Greek goddess of memory, and mother of the nine Muses.
  • She alone among the muses inspires scientific endeavours.

The Muses are generally listed as Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (flute playing and lyric poetry), Terpsichore (choral dancing and song), Erato (lyre playing and lyric poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Thalia (comedy and light verse), Polyhymnia (hymns, and later mime), and Urania (astronomy)

2A woman, or a force personified as a woman, who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist: Yeats' muse, Maud Gonne
More example sentences
  • The figure and face of the woman have been the inspirational muse for artists over the centuries.
  • Almost 50 years after being immortalised by the poet Philip Larkin in a famous anthology, the muse who inspired him is to speak on his legacy.
  • The artist's restless muse and critical intellect enable a confrontation with, and the effort to amend, the society's limiting traditions.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin musa, from Greek mousa.

More
  • People who muse look thoughtful and reflective, and the word probably originally referred to facial expression, as it is related to muzzle (Late Middle English) ( see also amuse). It has no connection with the Muses of classical mythology, the nine goddesses regarded as inspiring learning and the arts. The Greek word for a Muse, mousa, is also the source of music (Middle English) and museum (early 17th century). An institute called the Museum was established at Alexandria in about 280 bc by Ptolemy I of Egypt, and became the most renowned of the museums in the ancient world. The word museum means ‘seat of the Muses, place dedicated to the Muses’. Old astronomers imagined the universe to consist of transparent hollow globes that revolved round the earth carrying the heavenly bodies and making a harmonious sound known as the music of the spheres. Many other things have been regarded as making music, such as birds, running brooks, and packs of hounds—since the 1930s a man and woman making love have been said to make beautiful music together.

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There are 2 main definitions of muse in English:

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muse2

Line breaks: muse
Pronunciation: /mjuːz
 
/

verb

[no object]
1Be absorbed in thought: he was musing on the problems he faced
More example sentences
  • More recently I've found myself in bed at night (always a good place to be at night, if you think about it) musing over what I'd write in my blog, if I were writing it, re the day that's just gone.
  • Opportunities do not wait for those who muse and pause for deliberation.
  • As I left the office today, I was musing on how much I laughed today.
Synonyms
ponder, consider, think over/about, mull over, reflect on, contemplate, deliberate, turn over in one's mind, chew over, weigh up, meditate on, ruminate over/on, brood on, give some thought to, cogitate on, evaluate, examine, study, review;
think, debate with oneself, be lost in contemplation/thought, be in a brown study, daydream, be in a reverie
archaic pore on
rare cerebrate
1.1Say to oneself in a thoughtful manner: I think I’ve seen him somewhere before,’ mused Rachel
More example sentences
  • ‘Unfortunately,’ Jack mused wryly to himself, ‘much of what they'd " learned " had come from television.’
  • As one character muses toward the novel's end: ‘We always felt safe here.’
  • ‘Now,’ muses an underground rocker who has begun accepting sponsorships, ‘the only qualm I have is I usually don't like the stuff I get.’
1.2 (muse on) Gaze thoughtfully at: the sergeant stood, his eyes musing on the pretty police constable
More example sentences
  • With binoculars and a picnic lunch, one can spend endless hours here, musing on the leviathans that approach almost to the base of the cliffs.

noun

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An instance or period of reflection.
Example sentences
  • It's not only his pet muse these days, but the very definition of his work.
  • In the same way that I turned in my external muse a few weeks ago, it's time for me to stop beating myself up over the way I broke his heart.
  • I call it quits for the day, having earned the rituals&em.the long bath, the shave, the afternoon muse.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French muser 'meditate, waste time', perhaps from medieval Latin musum 'muzzle'.

More
  • People who muse look thoughtful and reflective, and the word probably originally referred to facial expression, as it is related to muzzle (Late Middle English) ( see also amuse). It has no connection with the Muses of classical mythology, the nine goddesses regarded as inspiring learning and the arts. The Greek word for a Muse, mousa, is also the source of music (Middle English) and museum (early 17th century). An institute called the Museum was established at Alexandria in about 280 bc by Ptolemy I of Egypt, and became the most renowned of the museums in the ancient world. The word museum means ‘seat of the Muses, place dedicated to the Muses’. Old astronomers imagined the universe to consist of transparent hollow globes that revolved round the earth carrying the heavenly bodies and making a harmonious sound known as the music of the spheres. Many other things have been regarded as making music, such as birds, running brooks, and packs of hounds—since the 1930s a man and woman making love have been said to make beautiful music together.

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