Main definitions of muse in English

: muse1muse2

muse1

noun

  • 1(in Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences.

    • ‘My personal favorite was a four-foot tall statue of Terpsichore, the Greek muse of dancing who bore the Sirens.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many elegists question whether they have the strength to accomplish their purpose, often calling for help from the muses or from a sympathetically grief-stricken nature.’
    inspiration, creative influence, stimulus, stimulation
    afflatus
    View synonyms
  • 2A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist:

    ‘Yeats' muse, Maud Gonne’
    ‘the landscape was Gorky's primary muse’
    • ‘Male artists have often seen women as not only sexual objects but simultaneously as their inspirations and muses.’
    • ‘Her beauty inspires him and he takes her to be a muse, a reason and an inspiration to choose a life of art and beauty rather than religious devotion.’
    • ‘Switching gender roles may allow the muse / artist relationship to flourish as women become more prominent in the arts and sciences.’
    • ‘Loulou de la Falaise was the archetypal muse, the inspiration for Yves Saint Laurent in the Seventies.’
    • ‘Yes, if it's about James Joyce and his muse, the beautiful Nora Barnacle.’
    • ‘May Gaskell was the adored last muse of the artist Edward Burne-Jones.’
    • ‘Stephen King used to call his muses or inspirations, ‘The Boys in the Basement.’’
    • ‘It is difficult to make the transition from a muse to an artist.’
    • ‘It would mean that women would have a central part in the culture, as muses and inspirers certainly, but also as honourable beings in their own right.’
    • ‘The artist's restless muse and critical intellect enable a confrontation with, and the effort to amend, the society's limiting traditions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Harriet Smithson may have been the muse who inspired Berlioz's most celebrated symphony but she herself dies in obscurity and misery.’
    • ‘The figure and face of the woman have been the inspirational muse for artists over the centuries.’
    • ‘This sonnet, however, is also a complex poem about the relationship between the poet, her muse, and her reader.’
    • ‘According to Western tradition, poetry originates from the poet's passionate but necessarily unfulfilled longing for his muse.’
    • ‘Here those with a literary calling gathered, together with those who required social stimulation to fire their muse.’
    • ‘I was suffering without them, my artists, my muses.’
    • ‘Within that image he unified three unmanageable forces in his life - nature, the muse, and his mother.’
    • ‘The poet's traditional invocation of the muse calls her into being, to sing to him.’
    • ‘She was, now in the eyes of people close to him, his muse.’
    inspiration, creative influence, stimulus, stimulation
    afflatus
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

muse

/mjuːz/

Main definitions of muse in English

: muse1muse2

muse2

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Be absorbed in thought:

    ‘he was musing on the problems he faced’
    • ‘On my drive back and forth to Providence yesterday I was musing about worship, prompted by sitting in on a traditional worship set for the first time in a long while.’
    • ‘I thought I'd work through the lyrics, musing as I go.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She mused for a moment, thought about what was to become of her.’
    • ‘Last night somewhere between Fulham Broadway and Westminster I was musing upon the fact that there was a point when I didn't even go on trains, let alone take three-change journeys.’
    • ‘She spent a fair bit of time in the tub, musing and contemplating over her current situation and well-being.’
    • ‘I've already entered the Half Marathon and am musing over my options: I'm not fit enough to complete it comfortably but I reckon I could do it very uncomfortably.’
    • ‘I was musing about how it could be possible for kids so young to sing about love and loss when they truly have never had their heart broken.’
    • ‘Opportunities do not wait for those who muse and pause for deliberation.’
    • ‘I got to musing as to how those few years I spent deliberately celibate were the happiest of my adult life.’
    • ‘Last term, musing about the usefulness of gun control, I obviously forgot the whole point of it: reducing crimes involving guns.’
    • ‘Still musing about his travels, he turned to me, ‘The most memorable tour that I ever took was to explore the kasbahs of southern Morocco’.’
    • ‘While I mused, I had mechanically chewed all my food because I had barely tasted it.’
    • ‘Both young and old came to see the school and admire the children's artwork, as well as musing over the many photos of pupils over the decade.’
    • ‘Activists left Bournemouth musing that perhaps there was something rather satisfying in becoming, again in Harold Wilson's words, the ‘natural party of government’.’
    • ‘Home from NYC, musing about that and an India that has changed, I had my once-in-several-months run-in with a journalist I know.’
    • ‘Chewing happily, I wander away, musing on the character of a city that seems to have got the melting-pot thing off pat.’
    • ‘As I left the office today, I was musing on how much I laughed today.’
    • ‘Actually, it's not a bad article, and chimes in with something I was musing over yesterday: just why are Europhiles so bad at arguing their case?’
    • ‘I had a place lined up, I thought it over, I mused, I pondered, I decided to go with it.’
    ponder, consider, think about, think over, mull over, reflect on, contemplate, deliberate, turn over in one's mind, chew over, weigh up, meditate on, ruminate on, ruminate over, brood on, give some thought to, cogitate on, evaluate, examine, study, review
    think, debate with oneself, be lost in contemplation, be lost in thought, be in a brown study, daydream, be in a reverie
    pore on
    cerebrate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Say to oneself in a thoughtful manner:
      ‘‘I think I've seen him somewhere before,’ mused Rachel’
      • ‘‘They do make my feet seem smaller,’ she mused as she stretched her legs out for examination.’
      • ‘Capon muses, ‘He must have been out of jail (by then) because he came to the gallery.’’
      • ‘‘Daisy's notion,’ Henry muses, ‘that people can't live without stories, is simply not true.’’
      • ‘‘A loss of words,’ as one character muses, ‘meant that nothing that comes to mind seems very interesting to say as a next thing to what has just been said.’’
      • ‘‘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.’’
      • ‘‘And at least she's not dead,’ Sarah mused thoughtfully.’
      • ‘As one character muses toward the novel's end: ‘We always felt safe here.’’
      • ‘‘Well, that's what love does to you,’ mused Ava.’
      • ‘‘This barrier would hopefully break over time,’ he mused thoughtfully to himself.’
      • ‘‘Maybe I'm… just not interested… at all,’ he mused silently.’
      • ‘‘It probably had a high tower with one window,’ I mused, thinking of Rachel.’
      • ‘‘Dave is one of these guys who finds a way to survive and exist despite a past filled with horrific events,’ the actor muses.’
      • ‘‘Recuperated money can go toward bonuses for employees,’ Gravel muses.’
      • ‘"Maybe you should give one to my sister, " Rachel mused aloud.’
      • ‘‘Unfortunately,’ Jack mused wryly to himself, ‘much of what they'd " learned " had come from television.’’
      • ‘"I think I know where I can find him, " Tanya mused under her breath.’
      • ‘‘Though,’ she mused, ‘it would be fun to take a step at a time and plant seeds of revenge for Ivan when he would least expect it.’’
    2. 1.2muse on Gaze thoughtfully at:
      ‘the sergeant stood, his eyes musing on the pretty police constable’
      • ‘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

  • An instance or period of reflection.

    • ‘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.

Pronunciation:

muse

/mjuːz/