What is Entertaiment?

The clown at the birthday party, the Broadway show, the stadium rock concert, your friends fighting over the last potato chip—all of these things are entertainment. But there’s more to it than that. The word entertainment, a compound of the Old French entretenir and Latin inter-tenere (“to hold inside”), was once associated with hospitality: to entertain (or “entertain”) guests means to provide them with food, drink, and amusement. From there, it became a generic term for distraction and pleasure: something that affords diversion or amusement.

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