SKIP TO CONTENT

amusing

The adjective amusing describes someone or something that makes you laugh. Something that you find amusing, like your favorite stand up comic, might be less amusing to your easily offended grandmother.

A pastime that's enjoyably diverting can also be described as amusing, like playing board games on a rainy day. Amusing comes from the verb amuse, which is itself from the Middle French word amuser. Interestingly, amuser meant "to stare at stupidly," and the English word originally meant "to deceive by distraction." The more benign funny and enjoyable meanings didn't arise until much later, but they eventually made the original meaning obsolete.

Definitions of amusing
  1. adjective
    providing enjoyment; pleasantly entertaining
    “an amusing speaker”
    synonyms: amusive, diverting
    interesting
    arousing or holding the attention
  2. adjective
    arousing or provoking laughter
    “an amusing film with a steady stream of pranks and pratfalls”
    “an amusing fellow”
    synonyms: comic, comical, funny, laughable, mirthful, risible
    humorous, humourous
    full of or characterized by humor
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week