What is Entertaiment?


The clown at a birthday party, the Broadway show, your friends fighting over the last potato chip–entertaiment is whatever holds or holds back an audience’s attention, pleasure or amusement. It can be an idea or a task, but it is more often something that has been developed over thousands of years specifically for the purpose of keeping an audience entertained. The word comes from the Old French entretenir, which had to do with hospitality, and it soon came to mean amuse or distract. We think of theatrical entertainment as shows, visual entertainment as stuff you like to look at, and audio entertainment as mostly music.