Definition of amusement in English:



mass noun
  • 1The state or experience of finding something funny.

    ‘we looked with amusement at our horoscopes’
    • ‘Cassandra looked on in amusement, glad for the momentary diversion.’
    • ‘A lamp post intervened much to the amusement of the watching public and chagrin of the cameraman.’
    • ‘We gave our new dictionary a work out to the amusement of the staff.’
    • ‘Anyway, noses all a-tingle at the prospect of a nice juicy story, we followed in hot pursuit, much to the amusement of passers-by.’
    • ‘This is definitely a source for endless amusement in my book.’
    • ‘Wearing a long white robe he jumped and danced as a large black snake tried to take a bite, all to the amusement of his audience.’
    • ‘He's showing no more interest than before, except for a spark of amusement on his face that's impossible for me to miss.’
    • ‘Both parties being well-known in the town, there was considerable interest evinced in the case and some amusement over it in court.’
    • ‘Having invited her on board for a chat, he refused to let her go until the bus had driven a mile down the road, much to the amusement of his hysterical team-mates.’
    • ‘So, to the amusement of his wife, colleagues and parents he dons his new uniform twice daily, five days a week.’
    • ‘There I stayed to the amusement of the class, unable to get up.’
    • ‘A deep chuckle emitted from Kyle, showing his amusement at how quickly I could be distracted.’
    • ‘The incident happened at 1pm yesterday in Whitebirk Road, Whitebirk, Blackburn, much to the amusement of his three colleagues.’
    • ‘During play whenever he tried to run, which was not very often, he found his trousers sliding down to his knees, much to the amusement of the spectators.’
    • ‘He flicked it on and off, to the amusement of their classmates.’
    • ‘She sang to a captivated audience and when it came to her final song from Carmen she coyly sat on a gentleman's knee to the amusement of the audience.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I attempt to give Sam a mange bath once a week, and much to the amusement of the neighbours, Sam yelps and drenches me with water.’
    • ‘The first thing I had a go at was the wellie-boot-throwing competition… much to the amusement of all the local farmers - and Anna.’
    • ‘To the amusement of the class, we grunted and cursed each other out of the sides of our mouths as we both tried to get through the door.’
    mirth, merriment, light-heartedness, hilarity, glee, delight, laughter, levity, gaiety, joviality, fun, jocularity
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  • 2The provision or enjoyment of entertainment.

    ‘an evening's amusement’
    • ‘This is the week to get involved in sports and amusements like music or cinema.’
    • ‘One of his amusements as an adult seems to have been to speculate about such things as frogs falling from the sky.’
    • ‘The eighteenth century will for ever be associated with the amusements of a fashionable oligarchical society, represented most notably in the prime of the first of the great spa towns.’
    • ‘Its population peaked at around 66,000 in the 1930s, when the city's beaches and amusements provided much-needed escapism from the Great Depression.’
    • ‘Baggy drag makes no sense at all for a sport played by women for the amusement of other women!’
    • ‘Fashion and amusements come with English as their medium of communication.’
    • ‘I was too busy giving thanks for the meal, for the piercing strangeness of truffles, for the rich amusement of the evening.’
    • ‘The innocence, the quaint amusements, the delightful boardwalk, the lack of Voodoo Juice - it's all got a pure magnetism none of the other towns can match.’
    • ‘The weekend will be a real family outing with lots of entertainment and amusements for children.’
    • ‘Allied to the sweltering heat, the top class entertainment, amusements and facilities added to the successful event.’
    • ‘Perhaps we should regard his mock battle with him as a harmless diversion, a little fireside amusement for the masses.’
    • ‘I did not write to you for entertainment, or amusement, or to lord over you the fact that I am a lady.’
    • ‘Such outfits are rarely worn, however, except in association with festivals or for the amusement of tourists.’
    • ‘Barbados is an island rich in forms of entertainment; songs and dance are the chief forms of amusement.’
    • ‘The evening will include entertainment, refreshments and amusements in a safe environment.’
    • ‘When the leisured classes took to skis, though, they did so first for amusement, then for sport.’
    • ‘Sturdy scholarship, not idle amusement, is what the book is designed to deliver.’
    • ‘Life provides plenty of unnecessary amusements for her, and I admit I've always hoped I could provide her with some sense of stability in the staggering dynamicism of her life.’
    • ‘Women wore black for at least a year and the family was supposed to stay away from amusements or other pleasures for six months.’
    • ‘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
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    1. 2.1count noun Something that causes laughter or provides entertainment.
      ‘she was like an adult planning amusements for a child’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘She is an amusement to those she encounters.’
      • ‘Then came the awkward moment when Kathleen realized what she was: an amusement afforded Margaret by her latest dry spell.’
  • 3British count noun A roundabout, game machine, etc. for providing entertainment at a fairground or resort.

    ‘on the promenade the amusements were still open’
    • ‘The committee would like to thank all their sponsors for their support and the many people who added to our occasion by providing stalls, services and amusements.’
    • ‘It plans to ban these seemingly harmless traditional fairground amusements to appease church groups who claim they are ‘the gateway to adult gambling’.’
    • ‘There will be several stalls, raffles, amusements, etc.’
    • ‘‘It's just such a lovely film, and I thought there was an obvious connection between the seaside and amusements and bingo - and I always like linking things together in a Shed show,’ says Simon.’
    • ‘There will be numerous sideshows on the day including mini quads, amusements, miniature ponies, bouncing castle, sheep judging competition and tug of war.’
    • ‘They also fear wall-to-wall gambling machines inside and empty shops being transformed into amusements if the scheme goes ahead.’
    • ‘There will be games, amusements and activities for all the family.’
    • ‘Children will have an all-expenses paid trip to the seaside resort, and enjoy treats, meals, the amusements, and even a magic show.’
    • ‘At the field there were lots more old-fashioned amusements, including two children's roundabouts, a coconut shy, splat the rat and pillow jousting.’
    • ‘I saw the crashing wrecks of amusements and arcade machines.’
    • ‘With their first performance behind them, they asked to be taken to the fabled Pike, a mile-long stretch of amusements on the northern boundary of the fairgrounds.’
    • ‘There will be a dog agility display, donkey derby, traditional Irish country cooking, trade stalls, amusements, and lots more, with entertainment for all ages.’
    activity, entertainment, diversion, distraction, interest, recreation, game, sport, pastime, hobby
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Early 17th century (in the sense ‘musing, diversion of the attention’): from French, from the verb amuser (see amuse).