What is Entertaiment?


Entertaiment is amusement, usually involving a performance. The clown at the birthday party, the Broadway show, your friends fighting over the last potato chip – these are all entertainment. It’s what keeps us from thinking about the bad news, the economic crisis, or the war in Syria.

The word comes from the Latin inter tenere, to hold inside. It’s also related to the Indo-European root ten, which means to stretch, or perhaps to make fun of.

Entertainment is the stuff that makes your brain release seratonin and dopamine, the chemicals it’s evolved to react deeply to. It may also hit on themes the brain was shaped to understand, like backstabbing and murder. It can be as small as a two-person party, or as large as an international audience.