from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- transitive verb To cause to be bewildered; confuse.
- transitive verb To occupy the attention of; absorb or engross.
- transitive verb Usage Problem To cause to be mildly or wryly amused.
from The Century Dictionary.
- To put into a muse or reverie; confuse; muddle; stupefy.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- transitive verb To muddle, daze, or partially stupefy, as with liquor.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- verb transitive To
- verb archaic, humorous To devote to the
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- verb cause to be confused emotionally
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
All the other dictionaries and usage guides maintain that "bemuse" suggests a frown or furrowed brow, not a smile.
What has happened to "bemuse" has happened to a lot of other words: A perfectly good English word that means one thing is co-opted by people who think it means something else.
"It's a temporary ban, designed to confuse and bemuse him, and hopefully engender a violent reaction," Morgan says.
As voted by you, internets, a few observations on differences that amuse/bemuse me.
I adapt with relative ease to the people I meet in the new places I visit and inhabit, although certain unwritten social rules continuously bemuse me.
Australian novelist Christos Tsiolkas goes further, saying that the attacks by some critics on his novel The Slap as being vulgar or pornographic bemuse me as they seem to ignore how much of sexual imagination, particularly male sexual imagination, is now experienced through pornography itself.
The gendered language in this country will never cease to bemuse me.
I do not control the editorial approach of the tabloids, and sometimes stories run in ways that completely bemuse me and are certainly beyond any expectations.
Yet the striker continues to perplex and bemuse in equal measure.
That partly explains the reaction in store for the 27-year-old, though Villa's anger at losing such a valuable asset may bemuse supporters of his current club as they wait for the England international to lead opponents on a merry-dance.