en·​ter·​tain·​ment | \ˌen-tər-ˈtān-mənt \

Definition of entertainment 

1 : the act of entertaining

2a archaic : maintenance, provision

b obsolete : employment

3a : amusement or diversion provided especially by performers hired a band to provide entertainment

b : something diverting or engaging: such as

(1) : a public performance

(2) : a usually light comic or adventure novel

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Synonyms & Antonyms for entertainment


delight, distraction, diversion, fun, pleasure, recreation


bore, bummer, downer, drag

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Examples of entertainment in a Sentence

Entertainment was provided by jugglers. plays, movies, and other forms of entertainment They played games in the evening for entertainment. plays, movies, and other entertainments
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Recent Examples on the Web

This will depend on your lifestyle, but most women create monthly allowances for entertainment, going out to eat, fashion, beauty, etc. Linda Davis Taylor, SELF, "How to Make a Budget You Can Stick to With the Easy 50/30/20 Rule," 23 Oct. 2018 Ultimately, Leos want to create warmth, build community, and set the stage for fabulous entertainment. Allure, "How the Sun's Position In Your Birth Chart Affects Your Zodiac Sign," 14 Aug. 2018 At the industry’s closest thing to league meetings—an annual gathering of power-players in Sun Valley, Idaho—the biggest storyline is Disney and Comcast’s bidding war for a large chunk of Fox’s movie and entertainment assets. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "Five Potential Buyers for Fox's 22 Regional Sports Networks," 12 July 2018 The fight for Sky could affect the broader fight between Comcast and Walt Disney Co. to acquire most of Fox’s entertainment assets. Ben Dummett, WSJ, "Comcast Raises Sky Offer After Fox Sweetened Its Bid," 12 July 2018 The battle over Sky is just one front in a larger tug-of-war to determine which U.S. media company — Comcast or the Walt Disney Co. — wins the bulk of Fox’s entertainment assets. Meg James, latimes.com, "Comcast offers $34 billion for Sky TV, topping a bid from Fox," 11 July 2018 Eat at the German buffet inside and stay for live entertainment. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Start making pretzel necklaces now: Beer festival season is in full pour," 9 July 2018 That decision has also prompted the renewal of a high stakes bidding war between Comcast and Walt Disney Co. for a collection of TV and entertainment assets put up for sale by 21st Century Fox. USA TODAY, "Fresh off Time Warner merger, AT&T launches WatchTV streaming service, new unlimited plans," 21 June 2018 The Times has pointed out that to some extent this protest becomes moot once either of Fox’s two corporate suitors, Disney and Comcast, wins the bidding war to buy most of the Murdochs’ entertainment assets. Frank Rich, Daily Intelligencer, "The Shameless Fakery of Trump’s Retreat on Family Separations," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'entertainment.' 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 entertainment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for entertainment

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

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English Language Learners Definition of entertainment

: amusement or pleasure that comes from watching a performer, playing a game, etc.

: the act of amusing or entertaining people


en·​ter·​tain·​ment | \ˌen-tər-ˈtān-mənt \

Kids Definition of entertainment

1 : the act of amusing or entertaining

2 : something (as a show) that is a form of amusement or recreation

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Comments on entertainment

What made you want to look up entertainment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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