From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


English Wikipedia has an article on:

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English entretenement (support, maintenance), from Old French entretenement; see entertain.

Morphologically entertain +‎ -ment



entertainment (countable and uncountable, plural entertainments)

  1. An activity designed to give pleasure, enjoyment, diversion, amusement, or relaxation to an audience, no matter whether the audience participates passively as in watching opera or a movie, or actively as in games.
    • 1957, William O. Douglas, Roth v. United States:
      The delinquents are generally the adventurous type, who have little use for reading and other non-active entertainment.
  2. A show put on for the enjoyment or amusement of others.
  3. (obsolete) Maintenance or support.
    • 1854?, Charles Dickens, The Seven Poor Travellers:
      "This," said the matronly presence, ushering me into a low room on the right, "is where the Travellers sit by the fire, and cook what bits of suppers they buy with their fourpences."
      "O! Then they have no Entertainment?" said I. For the inscription over the outer door was still running in my head, and I was mentally repeating, in a kind of tune, "Lodging, entertainment, and fourpence each."
  4. (obsolete) Admission into service; service.
    • 1601-1608, William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well:
      He must think us some band of strangers i' the adversary's entertainment.
  5. (obsolete) Payment of soldiers or servants; wages.
    • 1612, John Davies, Discoverie of the True Causes why Ireland was never entirely subdued:
      The entertainment of the general upon his first arrival was but six shillings and eight pence.
  6. (obsolete) Reception; (provision of) food to guests or travellers.
    • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene iv]:
      I prithee, shepherd, if that love or gold
      Can in this desert place buy entertainment,
      Bring us where we may rest ourselves and feed.
    • 1743, Robert Drury, The Pleasant, and Surprizing Adventures of Mr. Robert Drury, during his Fifteen Years Captivity on the Island of Madagascar[1], London, page 61:
      Tho’ they cut [the beef] into long Pieces, (like Ropes) with the Hide; and dress’d, and eat it half-roasted according to their Custom, and gave it me in the same Manner; yet I thought this contemptible Food, and what a Beggar in England would not have touch’d, the most delicious Entertainment I ever met with.

Derived terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]