Definition of bemuse in US English:



[with object]
  • Puzzle, confuse, or bewilder (someone).

    • ‘As bemused commuters hurried by, small chanting groups poured out from the early morning bars.’
    • ‘He seems bemused by his new surroundings goats, geese, Shetland ponies and a variety of other animals.’
    • ‘Then, before my hungry and bemused family could answer, he turned and vanished into the swirl of tables.’
    • ‘I was bemused to hear two men in conversation while they were rummaging through shop bargains.’
    • ‘Passion, Sondheim's most operatic work, continues to baffle the ear and bemuse the mind.’
    • ‘He looked utterly bemused by the question, shook his head and smiled broadly.’
    • ‘In cities such as Prague, expatriates were glued to televisions in bars, bemused locals looking on.’
    • ‘I'm bemused by the continual croaking and moaning that goes on about budgets.’
    • ‘This movie is more of a camp festival of excesses, where tone and temperament are identified and altered to confuse and bemuse the audience.’
    • ‘After the show I ask him what he thought of the proceedings, and he says he was bemused by most of the criticism.’
    • ‘When the first Icehotel in the world opened, some people were a little bemused by exactly what it was.’
    • ‘He is still bemused by the enigmatic arrival and departure of his illness.’
    • ‘Morris was contacted, and became increasingly bemused by the investigation.’
    • ‘He is a decent sort, bemused by the essential strangeness of life, with more questions than answers.’
    • ‘Shoppers in Swindon were bemused to see snorkellers in the town centre.’
    • ‘You wondered for a moment who was most bemused by this monumental and possibly decisive swing of the pendulum.’
    • ‘He took the offered hand and shook it firmly, bemused by the looks Mrs. Davis was giving him.’
    • ‘Players who bemuse the opposition are exciting but those who confuse themselves as well can be simply glorious.’
    • ‘It bemuses me that I need a face-to-face situation in order to be able to construct my own argument without feeling overwhelmed.’
    • ‘Firefighters were bemused to wake up and find a large brown and white horse tethered by a rope to their station.’
    bewildered, confused, puzzled, perplexed, baffled, stumped, mystified, stupefied, nonplussed, muddled, befuddled, fuddled, dumbfounded, at sea, at a loss, at sixes and sevens, thrown, thrown off balance, taken aback, disoriented, disconcerted, discomposed, troubled, discomfited, unnerved, shaken, shaken up, dazed, stunned, astonished, astounded
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Mid 18th century: from be- (as an intensifier) + muse.