Entertaiment, from Old French entretenement, means bringing joy and upliftment to people. This can be achieved through art forms that evoke complex emotions like wonder, fear, or sadness, as well as through intellectual engagement with puzzles, strategy games, and deep documentaries. Creative entertainment often pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, requiring exemplary craftsmanship and an extra je ne sais quoi. It’s not a one-size-fits-all concept: Even the same person might enjoy different types of entertainment, from a highbrow opera to a raucous concert or an intriguing book. Click on a collocation to see more examples.
This article was originally published in November 2017. Updated February 2022 by Kate Taylor, and edited by Emma Stratton.