Definition of entertain in English:

entertain

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Provide (someone) with amusement or enjoyment.

    ‘a tremendous game that thoroughly entertained the crowd’
    • ‘They maintain the enviable skill of being able to entertain an audience young and old.’
    • ‘The recreation centre also has indoor games, magazines and a television set to entertain the highway users.’
    • ‘Some of those so called old-fashioned games can still entertain the crowd.’
    • ‘The Captain entertains kids with magic tricks, games, crafts and fun activities designed to take their mind of being in hospital.’
    • ‘Street performers from the world over entertain the crowd whilst buskers provide the soundtrack.’
    • ‘I longed to tell them the game had most likely been made to entertain babies, but I resisted.’
    • ‘Dedicated volunteers entertain the members with games of cards and bingo, while some just meet up for a chat and a cup of tea.’
    • ‘They will entertain the kids and accompany them on special bear trails.’
    • ‘Music and a raffle entertained the crowds amidst the stories of historic games and victories for the club.’
    • ‘At least we were thoroughly entertained throughout our main course.’
    • ‘Whether that crowd consists of Elizabethan tradesmen or Harvard postmodernists, Shakespeare entertains his audiences while challenging them to think.’
    • ‘They are easy to maintain, and can entertain their owners and themselves for hours.’
    • ‘Despite this, fielding gives essence to the game and entertains the fans.’
    • ‘Crowds jostle and a six-piece jazz band begins to entertain the captive audience as the rain sheets down outside.’
    • ‘He was thoroughly entertained by a grotesque comedy that satirized a group of celebrities.’
    • ‘We've got to be an organized team that is based on a skating game and entertains the fans.’
    • ‘The fans are entertained, and the game can only benefit from the excitement.’
    • ‘The game modes should provide the gamer a plethora of scenarios to challenge and entertain the user.’
    • ‘The event manager provides volunteers who entertain the children and make sure the adults also have fun.’
    • ‘Having bands and DJs is a good way to entertain your guests and bring in a crowd.’
    amuse, divert, distract, delight, please, charm, cheer, beguile, interest, fascinate, enthral, engage, involve, occupy, absorb, immerse, engross, preoccupy, hold the attention of
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    1. 1.1 Receive (someone) as a guest and provide them with food and drink.
      ‘a private dining room where members could entertain groups of friends’
      • ‘He often entertains family and friends coming to the wine country on weekends.’
      • ‘Advertisers and invited guests were entertained to a lunch of Pembrokeshire produce.’
      • ‘I have no place to plant an herb garden, and there simply isn't room for us to entertain family and friends.’
      • ‘Two hundred guests were entertained to an eloquent and sumptuous wedding feast in a very elaborate and stylish reception hall.’
      • ‘We spent countless summer nights entertaining family and friends in our new gazebo.’
      • ‘‘It is a splendid place to entertain guests or clients,’ says a member who asks not to be named.’
      • ‘Two weeks after the wedding, the couple entertains family and friends at a gala called a ‘Second Sunday.’’
      • ‘Having bar furniture in your house, you will be able to entertain friends and guests more easily.’
      • ‘It is on their behalf, therefore, that he is taking action if he entertains guests and gives them food and drink.’
      • ‘Most families had a house for sleeping and a small cook house in the back, and some had a guest house for entertaining visitors.’
      receive, play host to, play hostess to, show hospitality to, invite to a meal, invite to a party, invite, invite over, invite round, ask, ask over, ask round, have, have over, have round, give someone a meal, throw a party for
      receive guests, have guests, play host, play hostess, provide hospitality, have people over, have people round, have company, hold a party, throw a party, keep open house, have a dinner party, have a lunch party
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  • 2Give attention or consideration to (an idea, suggestion, or feeling)

    ‘Washington entertained little hope of an early improvement in relations’
    • ‘Patrick only entertained these imaginings for a second before he dismissed them as childish and silly .’
    • ‘When he came into her life, she had reached a stage where she was completely happy not to entertain the idea of marrying again.’
    • ‘Unless there's a specific call about it, I can't even entertain the idea.’
    • ‘You say there are some compelling reasons to at least entertain the idea of lifting the ban.’
    • ‘I would not expect them to even entertain the idea that they could report simultaneously as a battle was taking place.’
    • ‘Ashamedly we did entertain the idea of making him swim to the station.’
    • ‘Granted, the novel isn't gleeful, but there's enough levity to entertain the idea of lasting love.’
    • ‘However, if you've ever entertained the idea of catching a steelhead, the time to act is now.’
    • ‘One doesn't have to be a conspiracy theorist to entertain the idea.’
    • ‘The lawyer denied having entertained the idea for a second.’
    • ‘Down the road, she is entertaining the idea of applying for a license to train young girls how to box.’
    • ‘Again the retail sector's cynics refused to entertain the idea.’
    • ‘What amazed me was that my company director entertained this idea and sounded genuinely interested in participating.’
    • ‘I toured other churches, entertained different ideas, saw things from another perspective.’
    • ‘And he added that the company would be more than happy to entertain the idea of some sort of interchange if passengers wanted it.’
    • ‘It allows us to entertain the idea of rebellion, diffusing that feeling without having to act upon it.’
    • ‘It is possible to entertain the idea that the bank had a point.’
    • ‘At the beginning of the hearing, I entertained considerable sympathy for the predicament in which he found himself.’
    • ‘She has been reported to entertain the idea of freezing the process of constitutional amendments altogether.’
    • ‘So I began entertaining the idea of making a martial arts film.’
    consider, give consideration to, take into consideration, think about, contemplate, give thought to, bear in mind
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Origin

Late Middle English: from French entretenir, based on Latin inter ‘among’ + tenere ‘to hold’. The word originally meant ‘maintain, continue’, later ‘maintain in a certain condition, treat in a certain way’, also ‘show hospitality’ (late 15th century).

Pronunciation

entertain

/ˌen(t)ərˈtān//ˌɛn(t)ərˈteɪn/