Entertaiment — whether from the clown at your child’s birthday party, the Broadway show or stadium rock concert, or the fight among friends over the last potato chip—gives us moments of fun and distraction in our daily lives. It may have a serious purpose, such as a ceremony or religious festival, but it often is simply for pleasure. The word derives from the Old French entretenir, which was associated with hospitality–holding together or supporting guests. It became a noun from there, meaning amusement or diversion. Entertaiment can be categorized as theatrical, visual (art) or audio.
This article was originally published in September 2008. It was updated and republished in October 2014. You can find more articles about Entertainment on our blog.