What Is Entertaiment?

The clown at the birthday party, a Broadway show, your friends fighting over the last potato chip—all of these are entertainment. The word derives from the Old French entretenir, which meant to hold together or support; it became associated with hospitality and later with amusement. Today we talk of visual entertainment as shows and movies, audio entertainment as music, and other forms that have developed a capacity to cross platforms and to adapt to varying scales: from personal entertainment for two on a couch, to banquets and stadium rock concerts, to cultural productions intended for a global audience. See also ENTERTAINMENT & TRANSFORMATION.