amuse

[uh-myooz] ,
verb (used with object), amused, amusing.
1.
to hold the attention of (someone) pleasantly; entertain or divert in an enjoyable or cheerful manner: She amused the guests with witty conversation.
2.
to cause mirth, laughter, or the like, in: The comedian amused the audience with a steady stream of jokes.
3.
to cause (time, leisure, etc.) to pass agreeably.
4.
Archaic. to keep in expectation by flattery, pretenses, etc.
5.
Obsolete.
a.
to engross; absorb.
b.
to puzzle; distract.

Origin:
1470–80; < Middle French amuser to divert, amuse; see a-5, muse

amusable, adjective
amuser, noun
unamusable, adjective
unamusably, adverb

amuse, bemuse (see synonym study at the current entry).


1. please, charm, cheer. Amuse, divert, entertain mean to occupy the attention with something pleasant. That which amuses is usually playful or humorous and pleases the fancy. Divert implies turning the attention from serious thoughts or pursuits to something light, amusing, or lively. That which entertains usually does so because of a plan or program that engages and holds the attention by being pleasing and sometimes instructive.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
amuse (əˈmjuːz)
 
vb
1.  to keep pleasantly occupied; entertain; divert
2.  to cause to laugh or smile
 
[C15: from Old French amuser to cause to be idle, from muser to muse1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

amuse
late 15c., from M.Fr. amuser "divert, cause to muse," from a "at, to" (but here probably a causal prefix) + muser "ponder, stare fixedly." Sense of "divert from serious business, tickle the fancy of" is recorded from 1630s, but through 18c. the primary meaning was "deceive, cheat" by first occupying
the attention. Bemuse retains more of the original meaning.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
But two detectives who amuse themselves with such loose strings thought
  something of the yellowing file.
If you want to amuse me, though, you'll put a nickname in your signature.
Used as a sort of parlor game to amuse or as a metaphor for the existence of
  different points of view, okay.
It will delight youngsters and even amuse adults who haven't gone completely
  sour.
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