entertain

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Synonym Chooser

How is the word entertain different from other verbs like it?

The words amuse and divert are common synonyms of entertain. While all three words mean "to pass or cause to pass the time pleasantly," entertain suggests supplying amusement by specially contrived methods.

a magician entertaining children at a party

When is it sensible to use amuse instead of entertain?

The words amuse and entertain are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, amuse suggests that one's attention is engaged lightly.

amuse yourselves while I make dinner

When is divert a more appropriate choice than entertain?

The meanings of divert and entertain largely overlap; however, divert implies distracting attention from worry or routine occupation especially by something funny.

a light comedy to divert the tired businessman

Thesaurus Entries Near entertain

Cite this Entry

“Entertain.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/entertain. Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on entertain

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