pleasantly entertaining or diverting: an amusing speaker.
causing laughter or mirth; humorously entertaining: an amusing joke.

1590–1600; amuse + -ing2

amusingly, adverb
amusingness, noun
quasi-amusing, adjective
quasi-amusingly, adverb
unamusing, adjective
unamusingly, adverb
unamusingness, noun

1. charming, cheering, lively. 2. laughable, delightful, funny. Amusing, comical, droll describe that which causes mirth. That which is amusing is quietly humorous or funny in a gentle, good-humored way: The baby's attempts to talk were amusing. That which is comical causes laughter by being incongruous, witty, or ludicrous: His huge shoes made the clown look comical. Droll adds to comical the idea of strange or peculiar, and sometimes that of sly or waggish humor: the droll antics of a kitten; a droll imitation. Unabridged


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

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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To amusing
World English Dictionary
amuse (əˈmjuːz)
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]

amusing (əˈmjuːzɪŋ)
mildly entertaining; pleasantly diverting; causing a smile or laugh

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

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.

c.1600, "cheating;" see amuse. Sense of "interesting" is from 1712; that of "pleasantly entertaining, tickling to the fancy" is from 1826. Noted late 1920s as a vogue word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Sad, certainly, that they think this kind of gesture is amusing or funny.
Anonymously texting your friends and colleagues with vulgar messages is quite
From first to last, this amusing pretension has garnished his public oratory,
  and the responses of fluent sycophants.
Higher education's odd characters and amusing nooks.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature