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

Bored kids also count as distractions, so entertain them for hours with movies, coloring books, and car games, like these printable roadside bingo cards. Brigitt Earley, Woman's Day, "6 Ways to Stay Safe on Your Next Family Road Trip," 29 Nov. 2018 Whether that ends up being sound logic, however, will likely depend on whether audiences are still interested in following a franchise that seems much more interested in tricking them than entertaining them. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "The Walking Dead has a Rick Grimes movie trilogy on the way," 5 Nov. 2018 This darkly funny, plot-twisting novel from Enrico Pellegrini is about ambition and arrogance, and will entertain you in those final days of summer. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "The Five Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in September," 5 Sep. 2018 Most mornings, the kids entertain themselves for about 10 to 15 minutes, coloring and playing, before going to wake their parents, Lindsey McIver told The Washington Post. Allyson Chiu, The Seattle Times, "Her 3-year-old was locked in a washing machine filling with water. Now she’s warning parents.," 17 July 2018 The Wrightsmans continued to entertain on a grand scale, and also organized highly elaborate cruises where visits to historic sites were prioritized. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Remembers Jayne Wrightsman, Esteemed Arts Connoisseur and Legendary Hostess," 24 Apr. 2019 There are also many apps that are specially geared toward kids with autism, along with hardware and devices that can help entertain and educate. Kim Komando, Fox News, "Google Pixel 3, deadly laptops and more: Tech Q&A," 18 Aug. 2018 The summer adventure and free lunch program worked to entertain and feed children in the area under 18. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Price Hill Branch Library closed temporarily, suspending free food services for children," 5 July 2018 Morocco has entertained and played well in its two matches, but it's lacked the finishing touch, spoiling every one of its opportunities in 1-0 losses to Iran and Portugal. Luis Miguel Echegaray, SI.com, "LIVE: Spain Looks to Seal World Cup Knockout Berth vs. Morocco," 25 June 2018

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

12 May 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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