bemuse

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From be- +‎ muse. In meaning, influenced by bemaze.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /bɪˈmjuːz/, /bəˈmjuːz/
  • (file)
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Verb[edit]

bemuse (third-person singular simple present bemuses, present participle bemusing, simple past and past participle bemused)

  1. (transitive) To confuse or bewilder.
    • 1735, Alexander Pope, Satires of Dr. Donne versified
      a parson much be-mus'd in beer
    • 1771, James Foot, Penseroso:
      [With] fairy tales bemused the shepherd lies.
    • 1847, Hugh Miller, First Impressions of England and its people:
      the bad metaphysics with which they bemuse themselves
    • 2015, James Lambert, “Lexicography as a teaching tool: A Hong Kong case study”, in Lan Li, Jamie McKeown and Liming Liu, editors, Dictionaries and corpora: Innovations in reference science. Proceedings of ASIALEX 2015 Hong Kong, Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, page 146:
      With regard to definition-writing students, as a result of having spent years padding out written assignments in order to meet word-length requirements, were somewhat bemused to be told that fewer words were better than a long, wordy definition.
  2. (archaic, humorous) To devote to the Muses.
    • 1705, Alexander Pope, Letters:
      When those incorrigible things, Poets, are once irrecoverably Be-mus'd

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