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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.
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|Noun||1.||bemusement - confusion resulting from failure to understand|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
noun puzzlement, surprise, confusion, uncertainty, amazement, questioning, bewilderment, perplexity, bafflement, mystification, stupefaction, befuddlement A look of bemusement mixed with alarm spread across their faces.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.