A clown at a birthday party, a Broadway show, the crowd cheering at a stadium rock concert, your friends fighting over the last potato chip-all of these are forms of entertainment. It can be anything that holds your interest, gives you pleasure or delight, and keeps you from thinking about things that might make you unhappy or bored. The word “entertainment” is derived from the Medieval Latin inter-tenere, meaning to hold inside. It has also been attributed to the Indo-European root ten, which means to stretch.
This article was originally published in May 2015. It has been updated for timeliness and clarity.