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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Entertain


ENTERTA'IN, verb transitive [Latin tenco.]

1. To receive into the house and treat with hospitality, either at the table only, or with lodging also.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2.

2. To treat with conversation; to amuse or instruct by discourse; properly, to engage the attention and retain the company of one, by agreeable conversation, discourse or argument. The advocate entertained his audience an hour, with sound argument and brilliant displays of eloquence.

3. To keep in one's service; to maintain. He entertained ten domestics.

You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred.

[This original and French sense is obsolete or little used.]

4. To keep, hold or maintain in the mind with favor; to reserve in the mind; to harbor; to cherish. Let us entertain the most exalted views of the Divine character. It is our duty to entertain charitable sentiments towards our fellow men.

5. To maintain; to support; as, to entertain a hospital.

6. To please; to amuse; to divert. David entertained himself with the meditation of God's law. Idle men entertain themselves with trifles.

7. To treat; to supply with provisions and liquors, or with provisions and lodging, for reward. The innkeeper entertains a great deal of company.

ENTERTA'IN, noun Entertainment. [Not in use.]