What is Entertaiment?
The clown at your kid’s birthday party, the Broadway show you went to last night, even your friends fighting over the last potato chip–these are all entertainment. The word comes from the Medieval Latin word intertenere, which means “to hold inside.” Originally it meant hospitality–giving food, drink, and amusement to guests. Later it came to refer to anything affording pleasure, diversion, or amusement. It can be a performance–like a play, a concert, or your friends competing for the last piece of potato chip–or it can be an agreeable occupation for the mind, like solving the daily crossword puzzle.
Bates and Ferri (2010) define entertainment as activity understood objectively that encompasses communication between text and audience from an external stimulus, offers pleasure, requires an audience to exist, and occurs in a passive form.