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[en-ter-teyn-muh nt] /ˌɛn tərˈteɪn mənt/
the act of entertaining; agreeable occupation for the mind; diversion; amusement:
Solving the daily crossword puzzle is an entertainment for many.
something affording pleasure, diversion, or amusement, especially a performance of some kind:
The highlight of the ball was an elaborate entertainment.
hospitable provision for the needs and wants of guests.
a divertingly adventurous, comic, or picaresque novel.
Obsolete. maintenance in service.
Origin of entertainment
1525-35; entertain + -ment
Related forms
nonentertainment, noun, adjective
preentertainment, noun
self-entertainment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for entertainment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I asked, not finding that entertainment to the accompaniment of sabre-blows so glorious.

    Debts of Honor Maurus Jkai
  • The only thing he thinks of that he can do to help is to give them an evening's entertainment.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • It must be noted that La Marche's reflections upon the extravagance of the entertainment occur also in Escouchy's memoirs.

    Charles the Bold Ruth Putnam
  • She had always lived with children, and constantly had their entertainment in her mind.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • I come to a group of novels of which the chief aim of all except two is entertainment.

    When Winter Comes to Main Street Grant Martin Overton
British Dictionary definitions for entertainment


the act or art of entertaining or state of being entertained
an act, production, etc, that entertains; diversion; amusement
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for entertainment

1530s, "provision for support of a retainer; manner of social behavior," now obsolete, along with other 16c. senses; from entertain + -ment. Meaning "the amusement of someone" is from 1610s; "that which entertains" is from 1650s; "public performance or display meant to amuse" is from 1727.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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