Definition of amusement in English:



  • 1The state or experience of finding something funny.

    ‘we looked with amusement at our horoscopes’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A lamp post intervened much to the amusement of the watching public and chagrin of the cameraman.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cassandra looked on in amusement, glad for the momentary diversion.’
    • ‘There I stayed to the amusement of the class, unable to get up.’
    • ‘We gave our new dictionary a work out to the amusement of the staff.’
    • ‘So, to the amusement of his wife, colleagues and parents he dons his new uniform twice daily, five days a week.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This is definitely a source for endless amusement in my book.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Both parties being well-known in the town, there was considerable interest evinced in the case and some amusement over it in court.’
    • ‘The incident happened at 1pm yesterday in Whitebirk Road, Whitebirk, Blackburn, much to the amusement of his three colleagues.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He flicked it on and off, to the amusement of their classmates.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's showing no more interest than before, except for a spark of amusement on his face that's impossible for me to miss.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A deep chuckle emitted from Kyle, showing his amusement at how quickly I could be distracted.’
    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’
    • ‘The weekend will be a real family outing with lots of entertainment and amusements for children.’
    • ‘This is the week to get involved in sports and amusements like music or cinema.’
    • ‘Such outfits are rarely worn, however, except in association with festivals or for the amusement of tourists.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I did not write to you for entertainment, or amusement, or to lord over you the fact that I am a lady.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It was a centre for recreation and amusement to the members of the Air Force.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Women wore black for at least a year and the family was supposed to stay away from amusements or other pleasures for six months.’
    • ‘Sturdy scholarship, not idle amusement, is what the book is designed to deliver.’
    • ‘Perhaps we should regard his mock battle with him as a harmless diversion, a little fireside amusement for the masses.’
    • ‘Fashion and amusements come with English as their medium of communication.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Baggy drag makes no sense at all for a sport played by women for the amusement of other women!’
    • ‘I was too busy giving thanks for the meal, for the piercing strangeness of truffles, for the rich amusement of the evening.’
    • ‘Allied to the sweltering heat, the top class entertainment, amusements and facilities added to the successful event.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One of his amusements as an adult seems to have been to speculate about such things as frogs falling from the sky.’
    • ‘When the leisured classes took to skis, though, they did so first for amusement, then for sport.’
    entertainment, pleasure, leisure, relaxation, fun, enjoyment, interest, occupation, refreshment, restoration, distraction, diversion, divertissement, play
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    1. 2.1[count noun]Something that causes laughter or provides entertainment.
      ‘she was like an adult planning amusements for a child’
      • ‘She is an amusement to those she encounters.’
      • ‘‘She was an amusement, nothing more.’’
      • ‘The discussion whether they took him seriously or if he was only some kind of exotic amusement for them fills many books.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There will be several stalls, raffles, amusements, etc.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There will be games, amusements and activities for all the family.’
    • ‘There will be numerous sideshows on the day including mini quads, amusements, miniature ponies, bouncing castle, sheep judging competition and tug of war.’
    • ‘Children will have an all-expenses paid trip to the seaside resort, and enjoy treats, meals, the amusements, and even a magic show.’
    • ‘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 a dog agility display, donkey derby, traditional Irish country cooking, trade stalls, amusements, and lots more, with entertainment for all ages.’
    • ‘They also fear wall-to-wall gambling machines inside and empty shops being transformed into amusements if the scheme goes ahead.’
    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).