See also: amusé



From Late Middle English *amusen (to mutter, be astonished, gaze meditatively on), from Old French amuser (to stupefy, waste time, be lost in thought), from a- + muser (to stare stupidly at, gape, wander, waste time, loiter, think carefully about, attend to), of uncertain and obscure origin. Cognate with Occitan musa (idle waiting), Italian musare (to gape idly about). Possibly from Old French *mus (snout) from Vulgar Latin *mūsa (snout)  — compare Medieval Latin mūsum (muzzle, snout) –, from Proto-Germanic *mū- (muzzle, snout), from Proto-Indo-European *mū- (lips, muzzle). Compare North Frisian müs, mös (mouth), German Maul (muzzle, snout).

Alternative etymology connects muser and musa with Frankish *muoza (careful attention, leisure, idleness), from Proto-Germanic *mōtǭ (leave, permission), from Proto-Indo-European *med- (to acquire, possess, control). This would make it a cognate of Dutch musen (to leisure), Old High German *muoza (careful attention, leisure, idleness) and muozōn (to be idle, have leisure or opportunity), German Muße (leisure). More at empty.


  • IPA(key): /əˈmjuːz/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -uːz


amuse (third-person singular simple present amuses, present participle amusing, simple past and past participle amused)

  1. (transitive) To entertain or occupy (someone or something) in a pleasant manner; to stir (an individual) with pleasing emotions.
    I watch these movies because they amuse me.
    It always amuses me to hear the funny stories why people haven't got a ticket, but I never let them get in without paying.
    • 1786, William Gilpin, Observations, relative chiefly to picturesque beauty, made in the year 1772, on several parts of England; particularly the mountains, and lakes of Cumberland, and Westmoreland
      A group of children amusing themselves with pushing stones from the top [of the cliff], and watching as they plunged into the lake.
  2. To cause laughter or amusement; to be funny.
    His jokes rarely fail to amuse.
  3. (transitive, archaic) To keep in expectation; to beguile; to delude.
  4. (transitive, archaic) To occupy or engage the attention of; to lose in deep thought; to absorb; also, to distract; to bewilder.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.





Clipping of amuse-bouche or amuse-gueule.


  • IPA(key): /ˌaːˈmyː.zə/, /ˌaːˈmy.zə/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: amu‧se


amuse m (plural amuses)

  1. appetiser, hors d'oeuvre





  1. first-person singular present indicative of amuser
  2. third-person singular present indicative of amuser
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of amuser
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of amuser
  5. second-person singular imperative of amuser