Definition of amusement in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /əˈmjuːzm(ə)nt/


[mass noun]
1The state or experience of finding something funny: we looked with amusement at our horoscopes
More example sentences
  • They do what they want to do and have a great time to the amusement of the public - young and old - to the accompaniment of music and lights.
  • A lamp post intervened much to the amusement of the watching public and chagrin of the cameraman.
  • The incident happened at 1pm yesterday in Whitebirk Road, Whitebirk, Blackburn, much to the amusement of his three colleagues.
mirth, merriment, light-heartedness, hilarity, glee, delight, laughter, levity, gaiety, joviality, fun, jocularity;
enjoyment, pleasure, high spirits, mirthfulness, cheerfulness, cheeriness, cheer
dated sport
2The provision or enjoyment of entertainment: an evening’s amusement
More example sentences
  • I did not write to you for entertainment, or amusement, or to lord over you the fact that I am a lady.
  • I was too busy giving thanks for the meal, for the piercing strangeness of truffles, for the rich amusement of the evening.
  • It was a centre for recreation and amusement to the members of the Air Force.
entertainment, pleasure, leisure, relaxation, fun, enjoyment, interest, occupation, refreshment, restoration, distraction, diversion, divertissement, play
informal R and R, jollies
British informal beer and skittles
North American informal rec
dated sport
archaic disport
2.1 [count noun] Something that causes laughter or provides entertainment: she was like an adult planning amusements for a child
More example sentences
  • The discussion whether they took him seriously or if he was only some kind of exotic amusement for them fills many books.
  • ‘She was an amusement, nothing more.’
  • Then came the awkward moment when Kathleen realized what she was: an amusement afforded Margaret by her latest dry spell.
3 [count noun] British A roundabout, game machine, etc. for providing entertainment at a fairground or resort: on the promenade the amusements were still open
More example sentences
  • There will be games, amusements and activities for all the family.
  • It plans to ban these seemingly harmless traditional fairground amusements to appease church groups who claim they are ‘the gateway to adult gambling’.
  • I saw the crashing wrecks of amusements and arcade machines.
activity, entertainment, diversion, distraction, interest, recreation, game, sport, pastime, hobby


Early 17th century (in the sense 'musing, diversion of the attention'): from French, from the verb amuser (see amuse).

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.