Definition of entertain in English:

entertain

Line breaks: en¦ter|tain
Pronunciation: /ɛntəˈteɪn
 
/

verb

[with object]
1Provide (someone) with amusement or enjoyment: a tremendous game that thoroughly entertained the crowd
More example sentences
  • At least we were thoroughly entertained throughout our main course.
  • He was thoroughly entertained by a grotesque comedy that satirized a group of celebrities.
  • Dedicated volunteers entertain the members with games of cards and bingo, while some just meet up for a chat and a cup of tea.
Synonyms
amuse, divert, distract, delight, please, charm, cheer, beguile, interest, fascinate, enthral, engage, involve, occupy, absorb, immerse, engross, preoccupy, hold the attention of
1.1Receive (someone) as a guest and provide them with food and drink: a private dining room where members could entertain groups of friends [no object]: Sunday lunchtime is the best time to entertain
More example sentences
  • Most families had a house for sleeping and a small cook house in the back, and some had a guest house for entertaining visitors.
  • 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.
Synonyms
receive, play host/hostess to, show hospitality to, invite to a meal/party, invite (round/over), ask (round/over), have (round/over), give someone a meal, throw a party for; dine, wine and dine, feast, cater for, serve, feed, treat, welcome, host, fetereceive guests, have guests, play host/hostess, provide hospitality, have people round/over, have company, hold/throw a party, keep open house, have a dinner/lunch party
2Give attention or consideration to (an idea or feeling): Washington entertained little hope of an early improvement in relations
More example sentences
  • At the beginning of the hearing, I entertained considerable sympathy for the predicament in which he found himself.
  • I would not expect them to even entertain the idea that they could report simultaneously as a battle was taking place.
  • What amazed me was that my company director entertained this idea and sounded genuinely interested in participating.
Synonyms
consider, give consideration to, take into consideration, think about, contemplate, give thought to, bear in mind; countenance, tolerate, brook, suffer, agree to, approve of, support

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).

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