En`ter*tain" (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Entertained (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Entertaining.] [F. entretenir; entre between (L. inter) + tenir to hold, L. tenere. See Tenable.]


To be at the charges of; to take or keep in one's service; to maintain; to support; to harbor; to keep.

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


To give hospitable reception and maintenance to; to receive at one's board, or into one's house; to receive as a guest.

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained unawares. Heb. xiii. 2.


To engage the attention of agreeably; to amuse with that which makes the time pass pleasantly; to divert; as, to entertain friends with conversation, etc.

The weary time she can not entertain. Shak.


To give reception to; to receive, in general; to receive and take into consideration; to admit, treat, or make use of; as, to entertain a proposal.

I am not here going to entertain so large a theme as the philosophy of Locke. De Quincey.

A rumor gained ground, -- and, however absurd, was entertained by some very sensible people. Hawthorne.


To meet or encounter, as an enemy.




To keep, hold, or maintain in the mind with favor; to keep in the mind; to harbor; to cherish; as, to entertain sentiments.


To lead on; to bring along; to introduce.


To baptize all nations, and entertain them into the services institutions of the holy Jesus. Jer. Taylor.

Syn. -- To amuse; divert; maintain. See Amuse.


© Webster 1913.

En`ter*tain" (?), v. i.

To receive, or provide entertainment for, guests; as, he entertains generously.


© Webster 1913.

En`ter*tain", n. [Cf. F. entretien, fr. entretenir.]





© Webster 1913.

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