- Entertain is defined as to make hold the attention of someone and give them fun, to have someone over as a guest, or to think about something.
- An example of entertain is a clown making balloon animals at a child's birthday party.
- An example of entertain is having friends over for a dinner party at your house.
- An example of entertain is a student deciding which colleges to apply to.
Entertaining friends at a rooftop picnic.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- Archaic to keep up; maintain
- to hold the interest of and give pleasure to; divert; amuse
- to give hospitality to; have as a guest
- to allow oneself to think about; have in mind; consider: to entertain an idea
Origin: Middle English entretinen ; from Old French entretenir, to maintain, hold together ; from entre (L inter), between plush tenir ; from Classical Latin tenere, to hold: see thin
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
verb en·ter·tained, en·ter·tain·ing, en·ter·tains verb, transitive
- To hold the attention of with something amusing or diverting. See Synonyms at amuse.
- To extend hospitality toward: entertain friends at dinner.
- a. To consider; contemplate: entertain an idea.b. To hold in mind; harbor: entertained few illusions.
- Archaic To continue with; maintain.
- Obsolete To employ; hire.
- To give admittance to; receive.
- To show hospitality to guests.
- To provide entertainment.
Origin: Middle English entertinen, to maintain, from Old French entretenir, from Medieval Latin intertenēre : Latin inter, among; see inter- + Latin tenēre, to hold; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
- enˌter·tainˈer noun