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See also Entertainment (disambiguation) and The Entertainer (disambiguation)
For a topical guide to this subject, see Outline of entertainment.

, France]] Entertainment is an activity designed to give people a diversion. It is usually conducted in one's free time. An audience may participate in the entertainment passively as in watching opera or a movie, or actively as in games.[1]

The playing of sports and reading of literature could be considered a form of entertainment, but these are more often called recreation, because they involve some active participation.

The industry that provides entertainment is called the entertainment industry.


Examples of entertainment



Animation provides moving images that are generated by an artist, in contrast to the live action normally used in motion pictures. It is typically accompanied by a sound track consisting of recordings of live actors. Animation is often used in computer-based forms of entertainment.

Cartoons are a comedic form of animation.[2] Anime or TV manga refers to animation originating from Japan in the Occidental use of the word. In Japan the word refers to all animation. It may contain adult themes and futuristic locations.[3]


Cinema provides moving pictures as an art form. Cinema may also be called films or movies.[4] A film produces an illusion of motion by presenting a series of individual image frames in rapid succession. Films are produced by a crew that handle the cameras, sets and lighting. The cast consists of actors who appear in front of the camera and follow a script. After the film has been shot, it is edited then distributed to theaters or television studios for viewing.


Theatre encompasses live performance such as plays, musicals, farces, monologues and pantomimes.


Circus acts include acrobats, clowns, trained animals, trapeze acts, hula hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists.[5]


Comedy provides laughter and amusement. The audience is taken by surprise, by the parody or satire of an unexpected effect or an opposite expectations of their cultural beliefs. Slapstick film, one-liner joke, observational humor are forms of comedy which have developed since the early days of jesters and traveling minstrels.[6]


Comics comprise of text and drawings which convey an entertaining narrative.[7] Several famous comics revolve around super heroes such as Superman, Batman. Marvel Comics and DC Comics are two publishers of comic books. Manga is the Japanese word for comic and print cartoons.

Caricature is a graphical entertainment. The purpose may vary from merely putting smile on the viewers face, to raising social awareness, to highlighting the moral vices of a person being caricaturised.


Dance refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music,[8] used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting. Dance includes ballet, cancan, Charleston, Highland fling, folk dance, sun dance, modern dance, polka and many more.[9]


Reading comprises the interpretation of written symbols.[10] An author, poet or playwright sets out a composition for publication to provide education or diversion for the reader. The format includes paperback or hard cover books, magazines, periodicals, puzzle books, crossword magazines and coloring books. Fantasy, horror, science fiction and mystery are forms of reading entertainment.


Games provide relaxation and diversion usually following a rule set. Games may be played by one person for their own entertainment, or by a group of people. Games may be played for achievement or money such as gambling or bingo. Racing, chess or checkers may develop physical or mental prowess. Games may be geared for children, or may be played outdoors such as lawn bowling. Equipment may be necessary to play the game such as a deck of cards for card games, or a board and markers for board games such as Monopoly, or backgammon.[11] A few may be ball games, Blind man's bluff, board games, card games, children's games, croquet, frisbee, hide and seek, number games, paintball, and video games to name a few.


Music is an art form combining rhythm, melody, harmony for entertainment, ceremonial or religious purposes.[12]

Other forms of entertainment

entertains outdoors in Devizes, Wiltshire,  England]]

See also

Main list: List of basic entertainment topics


  1. ^ "entertainment - Definitions from". Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  2. ^ "cartoon - Definitions from". Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  3. ^ "anime - Definitions from". Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  4. ^ Harper, Douglas gfg (2001). "fdgfg cinema- Definitions from". rOnline Etymology Dictionary fd fdf. Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.. fdgfg. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  5. ^ Hoh, Lavahn G. (2004). "The Circus in America: 1793–1940". The Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. University of Virginia. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  6. ^ "comedy". From: The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. HighBeam Research, Inc.. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  7. ^ "comic strip comic strip". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  8. ^ "britannica". 
  9. ^ "Encyclopedia: Dance —". Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease. 2000–2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  10. ^ "reading -". HighBeam Research, Inc. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  11. ^ "Games - MSN Encarta". Microsoft. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 
  12. ^ "music - definition of music by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia". Farlex, Inc.. 2007. Retrieved on 2007-11-30. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Old French entretenement; see entertain.





entertainment (plural entertainments)

  1. An activity designed to give pleasure or relaxation to an audience, no matter whether the audience participates passively as in watching opera or a movie, or actively as in games.
    • 1957, William O. Douglas, Roth v. United States:
      The delinquents are generally the adventurous type, who have little use for reading and other non-active entertainment.
  2. a show put on for the enjoyment or amusement of others
  3. (obsolete) maintenance or support
    • 1854?, Charles Dickens, The Seven Poor Travellers:
      "This," said the matronly presence, ushering me into a low room on the right, "is where the Travellers sit by the fire, and cook what bits of suppers they buy with their fourpences."

      "O! Then they have no Entertainment?" said I. For the inscription over the outer door was still running in my head, and I was mentally repeating, in a kind of tune, "Lodging, entertainment, and fourpence each."

  4. Admission into service; service.
    • 1601-1608, William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well:
      He must think us some band of strangers i' the adversary's entertainment.
  5. (obsolete) Payment of soldiers or servants; wages.
    • Sir John Davies
      The entertainment of the general upon his first arrival was but six shillings and eight pence.

Derived terms

  • entertainment industry


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

External links

  • entertainment in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • entertainment in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • entertainment at OneLook® Dictionary Search

Simple English

Entertainment is, for example, an activity like a sport or game that excites people and keeps their attention. Some entertainment, like a scary movie, can also make people feel sad or scared. Other entertainment, like a comedy show, are funny.

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