En·ter·tain v. t. [imp. & p. p. Entertained p. pr. & vb. n. Entertaining.]
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. To meet or encounter, as an enemy. [Obs.]
6. To keep, hold, or maintain in the mind with favor; to keep in the mind; to harbor; to cherish; as, to entertain sentiments.
7. To lead on; to bring along; to introduce. [Obs.]
To baptize all nations, and entertain them into the services institutions of the holy Jesus. --Jer. Taylor.
Syn: -- To amuse; divert; maintain. See Amuse.
En·ter·tain v. i. To receive, or provide entertainment for, guests; as, he entertains generously.
En·ter·tain, n. Entertainment. [Obs.]
v 1: provide entertainment for
2: take into consideration, have in view; "He entertained the
notion of moving to South America" [syn: think of, toy
with, flirt with, think about]
3: maintain (a theory, thoughts, or feelings); "bear a grudge";
"entertain interesting notions"; "harbor a resentment"
[syn: harbor, harbour, hold, nurse]
Entertainments, "feasts," were sometimes connected with a public
festival (Deut. 16:11, 14), and accompanied by offerings (1 Sam.
9:13), in token of alliances (Gen. 26:30); sometimes in
connection with domestic or social events, as at the weaning of
children (Gen. 21:8), at weddings (Gen. 29:22; John 2:1), on
birth-days (Matt. 14:6), at the time of sheep-shearing (2 Sam.
13:23), and of vintage (Judg. 9:27), and at funerals (2 Sam.
3:35; Jer. 16:7).
The guests were invited by servants (Prov. 9:3; Matt. 22:3),
who assigned them their respective places (1 Sam. 9:22; Luke
14:8; Mark 12:39). Like portions were sent by the master to each
guest (1 Sam. 1:4; 2 Sam. 6:19), except when special honour was
intended, when the portion was increased (Gen. 43:34).
The Israelites were forbidden to attend heathenish sacrificial
entertainments (Ex. 34:15), because these were in honour of
false gods, and because at such feast they would be liable to
partake of unclean flesh (1 Cor. 10:28).
In the entertainments common in apostolic times among the
Gentiles were frequent "revellings," against which Christians
were warned (Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:21; 1 Pet. 4:3). (See BANQUET.)