Entertaiment means “amusement, distraction or pleasure.” A clown at a birthday party, a Broadway show, your friends fighting over the last potato chip—all of these are forms of entertainment. The word comes from the Middle French word entretenir, a play on words with the Latin prefix inter (“inside”) and the suffix tenere (to hold or keep). It was originally associated with hospitality—keeping guests entertained—but now is understood more generally as amusement.
It can take many forms and be found on any scale, from the private enjoyment of a home movie or a dinner for two to the spectacle of a stadium rock concert or a television show with millions of viewers. Bates and Ferri (2010) define it as an activity that is understood objectively, encompasses communication between text and audience, involves external stimulus, offers pleasure, requires an audience and is a passive form of consumption.