- to hold the attention of pleasantly or agreeably; divert; amuse.
- to have as a guest; provide food, lodging, etc., for; show hospitality to.
- to admit into the mind; consider: He never entertained such ideas.
- to hold in the mind; harbor; cherish: They secretly entertained thoughts of revenge.
- Archaic. to maintain or keep up.
- Obsolete. to give admittance or reception to; receive.
- to exercise hospitality; entertain company; provide entertainment for guests: They loved to talk, dance, and entertain.
Origin of entertain
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for entertain
Does any of that come from being attuned to the pressure of that need to entertain?Daphne Merkin on Lena Dunham, Book Criticism, and Self-Examination
December 26, 2014
Creator Rod Serling was compelled by the need “not to just entertain but to enlighten.”How a War-Weary Vet Created ‘The Twilight Zone’
November 13, 2014
“Nakarin loves to cook and I love to entertain,” says Yariv.The Airbnb of Home-Cooked Meals
November 3, 2014
So many families come that Vargas has arranged for a clown to entertain the kids.America’s Fastest Growing Death Holiday Is From Mexico
November 1, 2014
From the above, it cannot be said that Oscar Pistorius did not entertain a genuine belief that he was under threat.Will Oscar Pistorius Still Get Jail Time?
September 12, 2014
A non-loving Universal Thought was too monstrous a concept to entertain.
It is doubtful if it was mentally prepared to entertain it, or evolve the idea.
One who is obstinately and zealously attached to an opinion that you do not entertain.The Devil's Dictionary
My Governor, I am sure, will always be proud to entertain one whom I so much esteem.Little Dorrit
After being here scarcely a week, I begin to entertain the same opinion.Freeland
- to provide amusement for (a person or audience)
- to show hospitality to (guests)
- (tr) to hold in the mindto entertain an idea
Word Origin and History for entertain
late 15c., "to keep up, maintain, to keep (someone) in a certain frame of mind," from Middle French entretenir (12c.), from Old French entretenir "hold together, stick together, support," from entre- "among" (from Latin inter; see inter-) + tenir "to hold" (from Latin tenere; see tenet).
Sense of "have a guest" is late 15c.; that of "amuse" is 1620s. Meaning "to allow (something) to consideration" (of opinions, notions, etc.) is 1610s. Related: Entertained; entertaining.