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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.



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

  1. (transitive) To entertain or occupy in a pleasant manner; to stir 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.
    • Gilpin
      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.
    • Johnson
      He amused his followers with idle promises.
  4. (transitive, archaic) To occupy or engage the attention of; to lose in deep thought; to absorb; also, to distract; to bewilder.
    • Holland
      Camillus set upon the Gauls when they were amused in receiving their gold.
    • Fuller
      Being amused with grief, fear, and fright, he could not find the house.


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