- 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.
- 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 of entertainMiddle English entretinen ; from Old French entretenir, to maintain, hold together ; from entre (L inter), between + tenir ; from Classical Latin tenere, to hold: see thin
verben·ter·tained, en·ter·tain·ing, en·ter·tains
- To hold the attention of (someone) 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.
- Obsolete To give admittance to; receive.
- To show hospitality to guests.
- To provide entertainment.
Origin of entertainMiddle 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.
(third-person singular simple present entertains, present participle entertaining, simple past and past participle entertained)
- To amuse (someone); to engage the attention of agreeably.
- to entertain friends with lively conversation
- The motivational speaker not only instructed but also entertained the audience.
- (intransitive) To have someone over at one's home for a party or visit.
- They enjoy entertaining a lot.
- To receive and take into consideration; to have a thought in mind.
- The committee would like to entertain the idea of reducing the budget figures.
- to entertain a proposal