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

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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

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Time Traveler for entertain

Time Traveler

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

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Thesaurus Entries Near entertain

enters (into or upon)



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Cite this Entry

“Entertain.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on entertain

Nglish: Translation of entertain for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of entertain for Arabic Speakers


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