Amused vs Bemused
As simple as it may seem,English language can be rather confusing at times, especially when it comes to similar sounding words. This sort of confusion is a common factor not only to the beginners of the language but also to the native speakers of the language. Many words exist that seem similar in nature but feature very different meanings when used in different contexts. Amused and bemused are two such words that seem very much similar yet indeed are very different when it comes to their usage.
What is Amused?
The term amuse is derived from the verb “to amuse” which means to give pleasure or to entertain. It can also imply something of interest. The term “amused” means to find something funny, pleasurable or entertaining in nature. When amused, a person is given to smile or laughter. For example,
He was amused by the antics of his dog.
The above sentence implies that the person mentioned found the antics of his dog to be pleasurable. He might have been smiling or laughing to himself.
She was not amused by the turn of events.
The above sentence hints at an individual’s displeasure at a certain turn of events.
What is Bemused?
The verb “bemuse” is used to imply confusion and bewilderment. It distracts and absorbs the attention of persons, often leaving individuals wondering. It can also be used to imply feelings of wry or tolerant amusement. For example,
The manager looked bemused by his sudden decision to quit.
The above sentence implies the manager’s bewilderment at the sudden turn of events.
He looked bemused when she suddenly blurted out the truth about her disposition.
The above sentence could imply that the person while being confused by her sudden outburst may also have been wryly amused.
What is the difference between Amused and Bemused?
Amused and bemused are two words that are often confused with one another due to the similar pronunciations as well as similar spellings. However, in meaning and usage, the two terms are quite different. It is of extreme importance that one knows the true difference between amused and bemused when it comes to using them correctly in everyday parlance.
•Amused means to be entertained, to find something entertaining or pleasurable. Bemused means to be bewildered, distracted, confused or to be surprised.
• Bemused can also imply a state of bewilderment along with a wry sense of amusement.