verb en·ter·tain \ˌen-tər-ˈtān\

: to have people as guests in your home or in a public place (such as a restaurant)

: to perform for (an audience) : to provide amusement for (someone) by singing, acting, etc.

: to provide or be entertainment for (someone)

Full Definition of ENTERTAIN

transitive verb
a archaic :  maintain
b obsolete :  receive
:  to show hospitality to <entertain guests>
a :  to keep, hold, or maintain in the mind <I entertain grave doubts about her sincerity>
b :  to receive and take into consideration <refused to entertain our plea>
:  to provide entertainment for
:  to play against (an opposing team) on one's home field or court
intransitive verb
:  to provide entertainment especially for guests
en·ter·tain·er noun

Examples of ENTERTAIN

  1. They like to entertain their friends at their summer home.
  2. Much of his job as a salesman involves entertaining clients.
  3. Jugglers were on hand to entertain the crowd.
  4. Our father entertained us with stories.
  5. Our father's stories entertained us.


Middle English entertinen, from Middle French entretenir, from entre- inter- + tenir to hold — more at tenable
First Known Use: 15th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: entertainingPrevious Word in the Dictionary: enterprisingAll Words Near: entertain
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