From Middle English amusen (“to mutter, be astonished, gaze meditatively on”), from Middle French amuser (“to amuse, divert, babble”), 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 Proto-Romance *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 Old French muser and Occitan musa with Old Frankish *muoza (“careful attention, leisure, idleness”), from Proto-Germanic *mōtǭ (“leave, permission”), from Proto-Indo-European *med- (“to acquire, possess, control”). Cognate with Flemish musen (“to leisure”) Old High German *muoza (“careful attention, leisure, idleness”), Old High German muozōn (“to be idle, have leisure or opportunity”), German Muße (“leisure”). More at empty.
- (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.
- A group of children amusing themselves with pushing stones from the top [of the cliff], and watching as they plunged into the lake.
- To cause laughter, to be funny.
- (transitive, archaic) To keep in expectation; to beguile; to delude.
- He amused his followers with idle promises.
- (transitive, archaic) To occupy or engage the attention of; to lose in deep thought; to absorb; also, to distract; to bewilder.
- Camillus set upon the Gauls when they were amused in receiving their gold.
- Being amused with grief, fear, and fright, he could not find the house.
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