What is Entertaiment?

Entertaiment is audience-centered commercial culture that keeps people amused, engaged, and diverted. It may provide a source of joy and relaxation, or it can stimulate the mind with puzzles, strategy games, or thought-provoking documentaries. High-quality entertainment often pushes the boundaries of what has been done before, and it strives to evoke complex emotions such as fear, sadness, and even contemplation. In the process, it can act as a sort of emotional “cleansing” that improves health and enhances well-being. The word entertainment derives from the Latin verb enterrare, meaning to take care of or look after someone.

This article is part of our series on words whose origins are in the OED.