I got interested in the word "amuse" today. It was mentioned in the sermon this morning.
The speaker wanted to highlight that one of the biggest distractions of our time is entertainment, that we all just want to be amused and be entertained, and as a result removing us from the more important things in life.
He then said that the word "amuse" consist of two parts: (1) the prefix a- meaning without and (2) muse meaning to think, in that when we amuse ourselves, we are not thinking.
However, the prefix a- meaning "without" originated from Greek, and muse, "to think" from Middle French, Middle English and Medieval Latin. And so there is no way that amuse would mean "without thinking" or "without thought" to take the speaker's point of not succumbing to amusement and entertainment.
The word amuse originated from Middle French with two parts to the word: (1) the prefix a- to expressing causal effect and (1) muser meaning to stare stupidly.
And this does point to the same message of the consequence of us spending too much time staring at the idiot box.