The clown at a birthday party, the Broadway show, your friends fighting over the last potato chip–all these are forms of entertaiment. The word comes from the French entretenement, which means to keep company or entertain. We use it to talk about theater and other performances, visual entertainment like movies and art, and audio entertainment such as music. In many cases, activities that were once necessary skills for survival–fencing or archery, for example–have developed into entertaining spectacles and global competitions for larger audiences. Click on the collocations button to see more examples.
This article was originally published in the May/June issue of MIT Tech Review.