Entertaiment has come to be associated with fun and amusement, although many entertainments may have a more serious purpose. Some examples of this are ceremonies, religious festivals, satire and educational activities, such as reading or studying. Some forms of entertainment have a long history and can be adapted for any size of audience. For example, the famous story of Scheherazade from the professional storytelling tradition has been retold as orchestral music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Ravel and Szymanowski, as a film directed by Pasolini and as innovative video games.

The word entertainment is derived from the medieval Latin intertenere, which means to hold inside. See also Entertainment news.