Add to Your Vocabulary with This Invaluable Word
The clown at a child’s birthday party, the Broadway show, stadium rock, your friends fighting over that last potato chip—all these are forms of entertainment. The word entertainment comes from the old French entretenir, meaning “hold together,” but it has since come to mean “agreeable occupation for the mind” and “diversion or amusement.” From here, it has expanded to incorporate anything that affords pleasure, distraction, or amusement—from the hospitable provision for guests (and their appetites) to a whirlwind day of activities at a theme park.
What is considered entertaining varies from person to person and across media. Bates and Ferri (2010) define it as an activity understood objectively, involves communication between text and audience from an external stimulus, offers pleasure, requires audience passivity, and occurs in a passive form.