entertain

verb
en·​ter·​tain | \ ˌen-tər-ˈtān How to pronounce entertain (audio) \
entertained; entertaining; entertains

Definition of entertain

transitive verb

1 : to show hospitality to entertain guests
2 : to provide entertainment for
3a : 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
4 : to play against (an opposing team) on one's home field or court
5a archaic : maintain
b obsolete : receive

intransitive verb

: to provide entertainment especially for guests

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Other Words from entertain

entertainer noun

Synonyms for entertain

Synonyms

amuse, disport, divert, regale, solace

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Choose the Right Synonym for entertain

amuse, divert, entertain mean to pass or cause to pass the time pleasantly. amuse suggests that one's attention is engaged lightly. amuse yourselves while I make dinner divert implies distracting attention from worry or routine occupation especially by something funny. a light comedy to divert the tired businessman entertain suggests supplying amusement by specially contrived methods. a magician entertaining children at a party

Examples of entertain in a Sentence

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

Welcome to Party Tricks, a monthly column in which bestselling cookbook author and entertaining pro Alison Roman schools us on the fine art of having people over without pulling out your hair. Alison Roman, Bon Appétit, "With a Mini Grill, the World is Your Cookout," 20 June 2019 Its mission is to provide the community with open access to resources that inform, enrich and entertain. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Check out the local public library for summertime fun: A Place in the Sun," 18 June 2019 Looking at today’s fashion media, haul vloggers on YouTube follow a similar blueprint, relying mostly on their powers of description (and our culture’s insatiable acquisitiveness) to keep viewers entertained. Hilary George-parkin, Vox, "Gloria Vanderbilt changed how we feel about jeans," 18 June 2019 The authors cite data suggesting that people across economic lines are feeling too pressed for time and money to cook, let alone entertain. Ambreen Ali, Washington Post, "Today’s parents think they lack the time or skill to throw dinner parties. They’re missing out.," 17 June 2019 But beach reads tilt more toward the entertaining than improving side of the spectrum. Jennifer Weiner, EW.com, "Jennifer Weiner pens essay on beach reads for EW: 'I've tried to make peace with the label'," 17 June 2019 There are other variables, too, including whether Raptors president Masai Ujiri entertains a potential offer to run basketball operations for the Washington Wizards. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA free agency: What are options for Raptors' Kawhi Leonard?," 14 June 2019 So the stuff was built very fast and not really with a goal of entertaining guests. Lauren Weber, WSJ, "Roller-Coaster Designer on the Ups and Downs of His Work," 14 June 2019 Cotton was a Democratic Party supporter who entertained President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Terry Collins, Fortune, "Richard Nixon's 'Western White House' Is Back on the Market—At a Discount," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'entertain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of entertain

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 5a

History and Etymology for entertain

Middle English entertinen, from Middle French entretenir, from entre- inter- + tenir to hold — more at tenable

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Statistics for entertain

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for entertain

The first known use of entertain was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for entertain

entertain

verb

English Language Learners Definition of entertain

: 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)

entertain

verb
en·​ter·​tain | \ ˌen-tər-ˈtān How to pronounce entertain (audio) \
entertained; entertaining

Kids Definition of entertain

1 : to host a social event My parents entertain often.
2 : to have as a guest entertain friends
3 : to perform for or provide amusement for Comedians entertained the crowd.
4 : to have in mind She entertained thoughts of quitting.

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Comments on entertain

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