Synonyms & Antonyms of entertain

1 to cause (someone) to pass the time agreeably occupied
  • entertain the kids while I go and prepare dinner

Synonyms for entertain

Words Related to entertain

Near Antonyms for entertain

3 to keep in one's mind or heart
  • I don't entertain the hope of ever getting a girl like that to go out with me

Synonyms for entertain

Words Related to entertain

Phrases Synonymous with entertain

Near Antonyms for entertain

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About entertain

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about entertain

Time Traveler for entertain

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for entertain

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Entertain.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on entertain

Dictionary: Definition of entertain

Spanish Central: Translation of entertain

Nglish: Translation of entertain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entertain for Arabic Speakers

Comments on entertain

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!