KJV Dictionary Definition: entertain


ENTERTA'IN, v.t. L. tenco.

1. To receive into the house and treat with hospitality, either at the table only, or with lodging also.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Heb.13.

2. To treat with conversation; to amuse or instruct by discourse; properly, to engage the attention and retain the company of one, by agreeable conversation, discourse or argument. The advocate entertained his audience an hour, with sound argument and brilliant displays of eloquence.

3. To keep in one's service; to maintain. He entertained ten domestics.

You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred.

This original and French sense is obsolete or little used.

4. To keep, hold or maintain in the mind with favor; to reserve in the mind; to harbor; to cherish. Let us entertain the most exalted views of the Divine character. It is our duty to entertain charitable sentiments towards our fellow men.

5. To maintain; to support; as, to entertain a hospital.

6. To please; to amuse; to divert. David entertained himself with the meditation of God's law. Idle men entertain themselves with trifles.

7. To treat; to supply with provisions and liquors, or with provisions and lodging, for reward. The innkeeper entertains a great deal of company.

ENTERTA'IN, n. Entertainment. Not in use.


ENTERTA'INED, pp. Received with hospitality, as a guest; amused; pleased and engaged; kept in the mind; retained.


ENTERTA'INER, n. He who entertains; he who received company with hospitality, or for reward.

1. He who retains others in his service.

2. He that amuses, pleases or diverts.


ENTERTA'INING, ppr. Receiving with hospitality; receiving and treating with provisions and accommodations, for reward; keeping or cherishing with favor; engaging the attention; amusing.

1. Pleasing; amusing; diverting; as an entertaining discourse; an entertaining friend.


ENTERTA'ININGLY, adv. In an amusing manner.


ENTERTA'INMENT, n. The receiving and accommodating of guests, either with or without reward. The hospitable man delights in the entertainment of his friends.

1. Provisions of the table; hence also, a feast; a superb dinner or supper.

2. The amusement, pleasure or instruction, derived from conversation, discourse, argument, oratory, music, dramatic performances, &c.; the pleasure which the mind receives from any thing interesting, and which holds or arrests the attention. We often have rich entertainment, in the conversation of a learned friend.

3. Reception; admission.

4. The state of being in pay or service. Not used.

5. Payment of those retained in service.

6. That which entertains; that which serves for amusement; the lower comedy; farce.