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From Old French entretenement; see entertain.


  • IPA(key): /ɛn.tɝˈteɪn.mənt/
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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. 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.
    • Sir John Davies
      The entertainment of the general upon his first arrival was but six shillings and eight pence.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

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