Entertaining is a varied and evolving field, from the individual who chooses private entertainment for themselves to a banquet that is a meal plus entertainment, to performance that is designed for thousands or even global audiences. It has come to be strongly associated with amusement, but many entertainments may have a serious purpose—such as ceremonies, celebrations, religious festivals or satire. Entertaiment can also take the form of play, which is significant for children’s growth, preparing them for adult responsibilities such as child rearing or social interaction through playing with dolls or pets.
From the Middle French entretenement and the Latin intertenere (to hold inside). Also related to entertain, entice and enthrall.