What Is Entertaiment?



A clown at a birthday party, a Broadway show, a stadium rock concert–all are forms of entertainment. The word comes from the French entretenir, meaning to hold together, and it originally had to do with hospitality (keeping guests happy). It now means something that gives pleasure or a diversion. A daily crossword puzzle is an entertaining activity for many people.

It may also refer to a theatrical or visual spectacle, a party adapted for two or for thousands, or a global network of social and business interactions. The term is so general that it’s easy to overlook the fact that most entertainments have a serious side as well. For example, ceremonies, religious festivals, and satire all entertain while providing educational or cultural insights.