Entertaiment is the ability to gratify and amuse. Entertainment may take many forms, ranging from a single work of art chosen for private consumption, to a banquet prepared for two, to a theatrical production for thousands. Entertainment is usually understood to be amusing, although it may have a serious purpose as in the case of a ceremony, religious festival, or satire.

The word entertainment is related to the suffix -ment, which developed from Latin -mentum and was used as a formative in nouns of action. For example, amazement, betterment, merriment, and happiness all have this suffix. The word is also derived from the root verbs enter, entr, and ten, all meaning “to hold.” It was also used to denote a state of mind.