from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To be absorbed in one's thoughts; engage in thought.
  • intransitive verb To consider or say thoughtfully.
  • noun A state of reflection.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of musing; meditation; reverie; absent-mindedness; contemplative thought.
  • noun Wonder; surprise.
  • noun In Greek myth, one of the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who according to the earliest writers were goddesses of memory, then inspiring goddesses of song, and according to later ideas divinities presiding over the different kinds of poetry, and over the sciences and arts, while at the same time having as their especial province springs and limpid streams.
  • noun [cap. or lowercase] An inspiring power; poetic inspiration: often spoken of and apostrophized by poets as a goddess.
  • noun A poet; a bard.
  • To ponder; meditate; reflect continuously and in silence; be in a brown study.
  • To be astonished; be surprised; wonder.
  • To gaze meditatively.
  • Synonyms Meditate, reflect, etc. (see list under contemplate), cogitate, ruminate, brood.
  • To meditate on; think of reflectively.
  • To wonder at.
  • noun An opening in a fence through which a hare or other game is accustomed to pass. Also muset.
  • noun A loophole; a means of escape.
  • noun The mouthpiece or wind-pipe of a bagpipe. Also written smuse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A gap or hole in a hedge, hence, wall, or the like, through which a wild animal is accustomed to pass; a muset.
  • noun Contemplation which abstracts the mind from passing scenes; absorbing thought; hence, absence of mind; a brown study.
  • noun obsolete Wonder, or admiration.
  • intransitive verb To think closely; to study in silence; to meditate.
  • intransitive verb To be absent in mind; to be so occupied in study or contemplation as not to observe passing scenes or things present; to be in a brown study.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To wonder.
  • transitive verb To think on; to meditate on.
  • transitive verb obsolete To wonder at.
  • noun (Class. Myth.) One of the nine goddesses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over song and the different kinds of poetry, and also the arts and sciences; -- often used in the plural. At one time certain other goddesses were considered as muses.
  • noun A particular power and practice of poetry; the inspirational genius of a poet.
  • noun rare A poet; a bard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A source of inspiration.
  • noun archaic A poet.
  • verb intransitive To become lost in thought, to ponder.
  • verb transitive To say (something) with due consideration or thought.
  • noun An act of musing; a period of thoughtfulness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the source of an artist's inspiration
  • noun in ancient Greek mythology any of 9 daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne; protector of an art or science
  • verb reflect deeply on a subject


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English musen, from Old French muser (possibly from mus, snout, from Medieval Latin mūsum) and or of Germanic origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French muse, from Latin Mūsa, from Ancient Greek Μοῦσα (Mousa).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1340. From Old French muser.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word muse.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The nine muses are:

    • Calliope (the 'beautiful of speech'): chief of the muses and muse of epic or heroic poetry
    • Clio (the 'glorious one'): muse of history
    • Erato (the 'amorous one'): muse of love or erotic poetry, lyrics, and marriage songs
    • Euterpe (the 'well-pleasing'): muse of music and lyric poetry
    • Melpomene (the 'chanting one'): muse of tragedy
    • Polyhymnia or Polymnia (the 'singer of many hymns'): muse of sacred song, oratory, lyric, singing and rhetoric
    • Terpsichore (the 'one who delights in dance'): muse of choral song and dance
    • Thalia (the 'blossoming one'): muse of comedy and bucolic poetry
    • Urania (the 'celestial one'): muse of astronomy

    July 18, 2008

  • Thanks for the amusement.

    July 18, 2008