Definition of amuse in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Cause (someone) to find something funny; entertain.

    ‘he made faces to amuse her’
    ‘people looked on with amused curiosity’
    • ‘He is very easy to cook for, he always amuses me with his quirky sense of humour and I enjoy being in his company and miss him awfully whenever he is working a different shift then I am.’
    • ‘It's a persistent bother, but that always amuses me.’
    • ‘Alicia's polite and cheerful demeanor amuses the man, and he begins to chuckle until the tender sparkle in her eye renders him silent.’
    • ‘She amuses me; she'll sit on my computer desk, and if she sees my mouse on the keyboard tray, even slightly, she'll smack it so that it goes flying back under the desktop, usually far enough so that it lands on the CPU underneath.’
    • ‘Read the application (in particular question 4 amuses me).’
    • ‘We were delightfully amused by the cops who came onto the beach to check everyone for booze.’
    • ‘Incidentally, one of the responses I've been getting to the book's that a lot of people think it's very funny, and some people see it as a series of antic actions and antic behavior that really amuses some people and makes them laugh.’
    • ‘I think that sort of amuses me, though it makes me happy that people are so intrigued by this so far.’
    • ‘If wackiness amuses you, this is a ‘Don't miss’.’
    • ‘I don't mind it when people's heads roll off their shoulder and land against mine, because the way they snort awake suddenly and realise what position they're in amuses me.’
    • ‘But while absurd wordplay amuses me to no end in film, in books, in conversation and on merchandise, there's a point at which even I am no longer amused.’
    • ‘If you need a quick gag to lighten up your day and the thought of people with glasses getting rubber balls mashed into their skulls amuses you I thoroughly recommend this flick as it delivers the ridiculous comedic goods.’
    • ‘Unless something amuses me or I happen to be blissfully happy, I'm not usually smiling.’
    • ‘One thing which amuses me - and I may have mentioned some of this before - is that I can recall when movie and TV studios used to prosecute collectors who had old footage from their shows and movies.’
    • ‘I wake up, then the dog wakes up and hops up into the bed, and then Adam wakes up and I lean over and whisper ‘Honey, it's time,’ just because it amuses me, even though I know this may someday come back to haunt me.’
    • ‘I'm glad you like it, the name thing amuses me every time as well.’
    • ‘It amuses me that after posting an essay in which I tried (amongst other things) to make a point that passion is more important than style, there were those who would criticize me for the style in which I wrote it.’
    • ‘This will be my ninth year of study, so enrolment doesn't faze me, mammoth queues don't test my patience too much, and the excited chatter of first years mildly amuses me.’
    • ‘I think I've posted this one, but it still amuses me.’
    • ‘Don't ask how I found this out, but it amuses me immensely.’
  • 2Provide interesting and enjoyable occupation for (someone)

    ‘they amused themselves digging through an old encyclopedia’
    ‘the hotel has planned many activities to amuse its guests’
    ‘elegant shops that will keep any browser amused for hours’
    • ‘‘I'll spend two or three hours filming and editing whatever amuses me that day,’ he says.’
    • ‘Here she slept at night, but during the day she amused herself on a table, where the woman had placed a plateful of water.’
    • ‘There I stayed in the union bar for a few hours amusing myself with a few friends playing table football.’
    • ‘Camie and I amused ourselves very well and dear old Betty was very kind to us, helping us in every way she could think of.’
    • ‘We amused ourselves by throwing stones at these protrusions as we meandered along the path.’
    • ‘If you can tear yourself away from the hotel and the beach, you will find plenty of other activities to amuse you.’
    • ‘They claim it will achieve its goals to welcome, accommodate, entertain and amuse visitors.’
    • ‘I amused myself by ripping bits of paper off the corner of my finished worksheet.’
    • ‘Apart from obviously amusing the director himself, it is about as entertaining as a high heel in the back.’
    • ‘In a couple of minutes, I can whip out jumping frogs or hungry mouths that amuse kids for hours.’
    • ‘The family entertainer, she loved to amuse guests by dancing on the dining table.’
    • ‘There are plenty of high ropes activities in the trees to amuse you here.’
    • ‘There will also be a circus entertainer on hand to amuse the youngsters.’
    • ‘I had totally forgotten about it, so have amused myself for a few minutes looking at the search strings.’
    • ‘The Australians never really cottoned on to the idea that sport was a way in which gentlemen amused themselves.’
    • ‘To read it is like spending hours with an erudite conversationalist who is disposed to amuse you.’
    • ‘Who needs a doting husband anyway when you've got money, malls and lots of petty activities to amuse you?’
    • ‘Children were kept amused by entertainers Crystal and Dandelion who did face painting and put on a music show.’
    • ‘Is it some sort of enjoyable moviegoing experience that is here to amuse you?’
    • ‘Have I been put here to entertain you or amuse you, is your life that boring?’
    entertain, make laugh, delight, divert, gladden, cheer, cheer up, please, charm, tickle, convulse, beguile, enliven, regale
    occupy, engage, busy, employ, distract, absorb, engross, preoccupy, hold, hold someone's attention, immerse, interest, involve, entertain, divert, beguile
    View synonyms


Late 15th century (in the sense ‘delude, deceive’): from Old French amuser ‘entertain, deceive’, from a- (expressing causal effect) + muser ‘stare stupidly’. Current senses date from the mid 17th century.