The word entertain derives from the Medieval Latin inter tenere, or “to hold inside,” and is related to the Indo-European root ten, meaning to stretch out. It refers to a pleasure, diversion, or amusement: the daily crossword puzzle is an entertainment for many people.

Entertainment provides an escape from the everyday world and a form of recreation, taking individuals out of their routines or mundane realities and into enjoyable experiences. It can take the form of movies and television, music, recreational activities, sports or games, social gatherings, or reading. The familiar forms of entertainment have demonstrated a remarkable ability to cross over different media and audiences.