bemuse

To bemuse is to confuse or puzzle. You could bemuse your teacher by writing an essay as a series of haikus, but don’t. Usually a bemused teacher is not a happy one.

Bemuse is not the same as amuse, which means to entertain someone or make them laugh. If you tell a joke, you don’t want to bemuse your audience because they won’t laugh, they’ll be too busy trying figure out what you just said. New situations and weird dreams bemuse some people, so they feel dazed and bemused.

Definitions of bemuse
  1. verb
    cause to be confused emotionally
    synonyms: bewilder, discombobulate, throw
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    type of:
    discomfit, discompose, disconcert, rattle, untune, upset
    cause to lose one's composure
Commonly confused words

amuse / bemuse

People often use the word bemuse when they mean amuse, but to amuse is to entertain, and to bemuse is to confuse. In Alice in Wonderland, the White Rabbit amuses Alice as he frolics, but then the Cheshire Cat bemuses her when he tells her to go two directions at once.

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