Definition of entertain in English:


Syllabification: en·ter·tain
Pronunciation: /ˌen(t)ərˈtān


[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.
amuse, divert, delight, please, charm, cheer, interest
engage, occupy, absorb, engross
1.1Receive (someone) as a guest and provide them with food and drink: a private dining room where members could entertain groups of friends
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.
receive, host, play host/hostess to, invite (around/round/over), throw a party for;
wine and dine, feast, cater for, feed, treat, welcome, fête
receive guests, have people around/round/over, have company, throw/have a party
2Give attention or consideration to (an idea, suggestion, 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.
consider, give consideration to, contemplate, think about, give thought to;
countenance, tolerate, support
formal brook


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).

Definition of entertain in: