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
  1. noun
    an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention
    synonyms: amusement
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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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