entertain
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˌɛntəˈteɪn/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˌɛntɚˈteɪn/, [ˌɛɾ̃ɚˈtʰeɪn]
Verb

entertain (entertains, present participle entertaining; past and past participle entertained)

  1. (transitive) To amuse (someone); to engage the attention of agreeably.
    to entertain friends with lively conversation
    The motivational speaker not only instructed but also entertained the audience.
  2. (transitive and intransitive) To have someone over at one's home for a party or visit.
    They enjoy entertaining a lot.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Hebrews 13:2 ↗:
      Be not forgetful to entertain strangers […]
  3. (transitive) To receive and take into consideration; to have a thought in mind.
    The committee would like to entertain the idea of reducing the budget figures.
    to entertain a proposal
    • I am not here going to entertain so large a theme as the philosophy of Locke.
    • A rumour gained ground, — and, however absurd, was entertained by some very sensible people.
  4. (obsolete) To take or keep in one's service; to maintain; to support; to harbour; to keep.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene vi]:
      You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred.
  5. (obsolete) To meet or encounter, as an enemy.
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, “The Life of Henry the Fift”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene ii]:
      O noble English, that could entertain with half their forces the full pride of France
  6. (obsolete) To lead on; to bring along; to introduce.
    • to baptize all nations, and entertain them into the services and institutions of the holy Jesus
Translations Translations
  • French: recevoir
  • Russian: принима́ть гость
Noun

entertain (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) entertainment#English|Entertainment; pleasure.
  2. (obsolete) Reception of a guest; welcome.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.8:
      But neede, that answers not to all requests, / Bad them not looke for better entertayne […].



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