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Amusement is the state of experiencing humorous and usually entertaining events or situations, and is associated with enjoyment, happiness, laughter and pleasure. The word "Amuse" is so named from the opposite of "Muse"-to learn or to think


Humans will typically laugh or smile to display amusement. For most people at some time, situations which would normally elicit amusement may not always have the same effect, due to various reasons such as one's state of mind. People with certain disorders or disabilities may sometimes appear to experience amusement without an obvious cause or reason.

Although various animals may be perceived as experiencing amusement, this may simply be a case of anthropomorphism. Interpretations of "amusement" may be attributed to animals that do not behave as expected, such as where an animal runs instead of walks, or becomes more alert. Other animals such as dogs may wag their tails or spin around, birds may chirp more loudly or frequently, while racoons or bears may not react at all.

However, there are instances of animals reportedly, "playing jokes" on other animals or humans. While they may not show any outward signs of amusement, it would seem as if there is no other explanation.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




amuse + -ment


  • IPA: /əˈmjuzmənt/, SAMPA: /@"mjuzm@nt/
  •  Audio (US)help, file
  • Hyphenation: a‧muse‧ment



countable and uncountable; plural amusements

amusement (countable and uncountable; plural amusements)

  1. (uncountable) Entertainment
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 234a.
      This is some form of amusement you're talking about.
  2. (countable) An activity that is entertaining or amusing, such as dancing, gunning, and fishing.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
      "What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! There is nothing like dancing after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished society."
    • 1843, Edgar Allan Poe, The Gold-Bug:
      His chief amusements were gunning and fishing, or sauntering along the beach and through the myrtles, in quest of shells or entomological specimens--his collection of the latter might have been envied by a Swammerdamm.
    • 1919, L. Frank Baum, The Magic of Oz:
      The Cat was sour-tempered and grumpy, at first, but before they had journeyed far, the crystal creature had discovered a fine amusement. The long tails of the monkeys were constantly sticking through the bars of their cage, and when they did, the Glass Cat would slyly seize the tails in her paws and pull them.


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