Definition of entertain verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    entertain

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˌentəˈteɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌentərˈteɪn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they entertain
    BrE BrE//ˌentəˈteɪn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌentərˈteɪn//
     
    he / she / it entertains
    BrE BrE//ˌentəˈteɪnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌentərˈteɪnz//
     
    past simple entertained
    BrE BrE//ˌentəˈteɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌentərˈteɪnd//
     
    past participle entertained
    BrE BrE//ˌentəˈteɪnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌentərˈteɪnd//
     
    -ing form entertaining
    BrE BrE//ˌentəˈteɪnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌentərˈteɪnɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to invite people to eat or drink with you as your guests, especially in your home The job involves a lot of entertaining. entertain somebody Barbecues are a favourite way of entertaining friends.
  2. 2  [transitive, intransitive] entertain (somebody) (with something) to interest and amuse somebody in order to please them He entertained us for hours with his stories and jokes. The aim of the series is both to entertain and inform.
  3. 3[transitive] (not used in the progressive tenses) entertain something (formal) to consider or allow yourself to think about an idea, a hope, a feeling, etc. He had entertained hopes of a reconciliation. to entertain a doubt/suspicion
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: from French entretenir, based on Latin inter ‘among’ + tenere ‘to hold’. The word originally meant ‘ maintain, continue’, later ‘maintain in a certain condition, treat in a certain way’, also ‘show hospitality’ (late 15th cent.).Extra examples Films can entertain and educate, make you laugh or cry. I am amazed that such a crackpot scheme could be seriously entertained. She entertained us with stories of her travels. She would make no promises, but was prepared to entertain the idea. The Bradfords always entertained lavishly at Christmas. They entertained us to lunch in their new house. We hired a magician to keep the children entertained. briefly entertaining hopes that he might keep the affair a secret Two of the students kept the children entertained with a puppet show.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: entertain