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

  • noun The act of entertaining.
  • noun The art or field of entertaining.
  • noun Something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or show.
  • noun The pleasure afforded by being entertained; amusement.
  • noun Archaic Maintenance; support.
  • noun Obsolete Employment.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of furnishing accommodation, refreshment, good cheer, or diversion; that which entertains, or the act of entertaining, as by hospitality, agreeable attentions, or amusement.
  • noun An exhibition or a performance which affords instruction or amusement; the act of providing gratification or diversion: as, the entertainment of friends with a supper and dance; a musical or dramatic entertainment.
  • noun Maintenance; support; physical or mental provision; means of maintenance, or the state of being supported, as in service, under suffering, etc.
  • noun Mental enjoyment; instruction or amusement afforded by anything seen or heard, as a spectacle, a play, conversation or story, music or recitation.
  • noun Reception; treatment.
  • noun A holding or harboring in the mind; a taking into consideration: as, the entertainment of extravagant notions; the entertainment of a proposal.
  • noun Synonyms and Diversion, Recreation, etc. See pastime.

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

  • noun The act of receiving as host, or of amusing, admitting, or cherishing; hospitable reception; also, reception or treatment, in general.
  • noun That which entertains, or with which one is entertained
  • noun Hospitality; hospitable provision for the wants of a guest; especially, provision for the table; a hospitable repast; a feast; a formal or elegant meal.
  • noun That which engages the attention agreeably, amuses or diverts, whether in private, as by conversation, etc., or in public, by performances of some kind; amusement.
  • noun Admission into service; service.
  • noun obsolete Payment of soldiers or servants; wages.

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

  • noun An activity designed to give pleasure or relaxation to an audience, no matter whether the audience participates passively as in watching opera or a movie, or actively as in games.
  • noun a show put on for the enjoyment or amusement of others
  • noun obsolete maintenance or support
  • noun Admission into service; service.
  • noun obsolete Payment of soldiers or servants; wages.

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

  • noun an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French entretenement; see entertain.


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  • "Never has the nation's entertainment been so consistently unimaginative, so inanely repetitive, so utterly lacking in quality and so horribly, catatonically dull. And never, may I add, has it made so much money."

    - John Houseman.

    April 23, 2009

  • I just saw the first few minutes of "Idiocracy" the other day, a film I've never seen but heard about, and was stunned by the inarticulate dude watching a show called "OW! My Balls!" Sadly, I think we're rather closer than 500 years away from such entertainment...

    April 23, 2009