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tr.v. be·mused, be·mus·ing, be·mus·es
1. To cause to be bewildered; confuse.
2. To occupy the attention of; absorb or engross: The book bemused him for days.
3. Usage Problem To cause to be mildly or wryly amused: "Unlike William McKinley, whose priggishness bemused him, Roosevelt had no compunctions about smoking cigars in public" (Joseph Conlin).
be·mus′ed·ly (-myo͞o′zĭd-lē) adv.
Usage Note: The word bemused is sometimes used to mean "amused, especially when finding something wryly funny," as in The stream of jokes from the comedian left the audience bemused, with some breaking out into guffaws. Most of the Usage Panel does not like this usage, with 78 percent rejecting this sentence in our 2005 survey. By contrast, 84 percent accepted a sentence in which bemused means "confused."
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
adv → ratlos
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007