What Is Entertaiment?


The clown at a birthday party, the Broadway show, the stadium rock concert—all of these can be described as entertaiment. Originally, it had to do with hospitality and retaining guests, but nowadays it’s mostly about amusement, distraction or even social edification. The story of Scheherazade, for example, has been retold in various forms as an orchestral work, film and video game. The word is derived from the Old French entretenir meaning ‘hold together’ or ‘support.’