Entertainment is amusement, usually involving a performance. The clown at a birthday party, a Broadway show, a stadium rock concert, your friends fighting over the last potato chip––these are all forms of entertainment.

Entertainment is from the Old French word entretenir meaning hold together or support. It was associated with hospitality––when you entertained a guest, you were keeping them happy. From there, it came to mean amuse or distract. The entertainment is the amusement or the distraction––we talk about theatrical entertainment as shows, visual entertainment as the stuff you like to look at, and audio entertainment as mostly music.

Definitions of entertainment

n an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention

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beguilement, distraction
an entertainment that provokes pleased interest and distracts you from worries and vexations
entertainment that is intended to be educational
any lavishly staged or spectacular entertainment
entertainment with military themes in which the Department of Defense is celebrated
night life, nightlife
the entertainment available to people seeking nighttime diversion
the act of publicly exhibiting or entertaining
carnival, fair, funfair
a traveling show; having sideshows and rides and games of skill etc.
dog show
a competitive exhibition of dogs
a competitive exhibition of horses
a street show
a performance given by a traveling company of acrobats, clowns, and trained animals
cabaret, floor show, floorshow
a series of acts at a night club
ice show
any entertainment performed by ice skaters
entr'acte, interlude, intermezzo
a brief show (music or dance etc) inserted between the sections of a longer performance
display, exhibit, showing
something shown to the public
demonstration, presentation, presentment
a show or display; the act of presenting something to sight or view
a show of military force or preparedness
road show
a show on tour
a minor show that is part of a larger one (as at the circus)
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Wild West Show
a spectacular show organized in 1883 by William F. Cody that featured horseback riding and marksmanship on a large scale; toured the United States and Europe
Type of:
diversion, recreation
an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates

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