1640s, "diversion of attention," especially in military actions, from French amusement, noun of action from amuser (see amuse).
And because all bold and irreverent Speeches touching matters of high nature, and all malicious and false Reports tending to Sedition, or to the Amusement of Our People, are punishable ... (etc.) [Charles II, Proclamation of Oct. 26, 1688]
Meaning "a pastime, play, game, anything which pleasantly diverts the attention" (from duty, work, etc.) is from 1670s, originally depreciative; meaning "pleasurable diversion" attested from 1690s. Amusement hall is from 1862; amusement park first recorded 1897.
"to make a promenade; walk about for amusement, display, or exercise," 1580s, from promenade (n.). Related: Promenaded; promenading.
"amusement, diversion, that which serves to make the time pass agreeably," late 15c., passe tyme "recreation, diversion, amusement, sport," from pass (v.) + time (n.). Formed on model of French passe-temps (15c.), from passe, imperative of passer "to pass" + temps "time," from Latin tempus (see temporal).
The central idea of a pastime is that it is so positively agreeable that it lets time slip by unnoticed: as, to turn work into pastime. Amusement has the double meaning of being kept from ennui and of finding occasion of mirth .... Recreation is that sort of play or agreeable occupation which refreshes the tired person, making him as good as new. Diversion is a stronger word than recreation, representing that which turns one aside from ordinary serious work or thought, and amuses him greatly. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
c. 1300, "activity that offers amusement, pleasure, or recreation," from Anglo-French disport, Old French desport, from disporter/desporter "divert, amuse" (see disport (v.)). From late 14c. as "a sport or game; the game of love, flirtation."