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Denotation vs. Connotation

amusing

[uh-myoo-zing] /əˈmyu zɪŋ/
adjective
1.
pleasantly entertaining or diverting:
an amusing speaker.
2.
causing laughter or mirth; humorously entertaining:
an amusing joke.
Origin of amusing
1590-1600
1590-1600; amuse + -ing2
Related forms
amusingly, adverb
amusingness, noun
quasi-amusing, adjective
quasi-amusingly, adverb
unamusing, adjective
unamusingly, adverb
unamusingness, noun
Synonyms
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.

amuse

[uh-myooz] /əˈmyuz/
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.
  1. to engross; absorb.
  2. to puzzle; distract.
Origin
1470-80; < Middle French amuser to divert, amuse; see a-5, muse
Related forms
amusable, adjective
amuser, noun
unamusable, adjective
unamusably, adverb
Can be confused
amuse, bemuse (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for amusing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They should be taught to look at the amusing side of things.

    A Word to Women Mrs. C. E. Humphry
  • The husband in my case was to be an inconvenience, but doubtless an amusing one.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • I recall an amusing anecdote which Mr. Gouverneur told me upon his return from this visit to Richmond.

    As I Remember Marian Gouverneur
  • The girl was amusing enough, and, indeed, a most likable person at her best.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • Of Hogg himself he said much that was amusing and instructive: one anecdote will not soon be forgotten.

British Dictionary definitions for amusing

amusing

/əˈmjuːzɪŋ/
adjective
1.
mildly entertaining; pleasantly diverting; causing a smile or laugh
Derived Forms
amusingly, adverb

amuse

/əˈmjuːz/
verb (transitive)
1.
to keep pleasantly occupied; entertain; divert
2.
to cause to laugh or smile
Word Origin
C15: from Old French amuser to cause to be idle, from muser to muse1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amusing
adj.

c.1600, "cheating;" present participle adjective from amuse (v.). Sense of "interesting" is from 1712; that of "pleasantly entertaining, tickling to the fancy" is from 1826. Noted late 1920s as a vogue word. Amusive has been tried in all senses since 18c. and might be useful, but it never caught on. Related: Amusingly.

amuse

v.

late 15c., "to divert the attention, beguile, delude," from Middle French amuser "divert, cause to muse," from a "at, to" (but here probably a causal prefix) + muser "ponder, stare fixedly" (see muse (v.)). 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. Related: Amused; amusing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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