The clown at a birthday party, the Broadway show, your friends fighting over the last potato chip—all of these can be considered entertainment. The word is derived from the Latin verb entrare, which means “to take in.” Historically, it was associated with hospitality; to entertain someone meant to provide them with enjoyment. Nowadays, we often use it to refer to any activity or event that gives pleasure, diversion, or amusement.

Our lexicon is constantly expanding and evolving. If you have a suggestion for a new entry, please contact us.

These examples are automatically selected from various online sources, and may not reflect the views of Merriam-Webster or its editors.