Entertaiment: The clown at a birthday party, the Broadway show, your friends fighting over the last potato chip—it’s all entertainment. The word entertain comes from the Old French entretenir (to hold together or support) and was associated with hospitality: keeping guests happy and amused. Today we use it to mean something affording pleasure, diversion, or amusement: a movie, a ball, solving the daily crossword. From there, it’s become a generic word that applies to all sorts of performances and distractions: a “show,” a piece of theater, the radio show you tune into.

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