late 13c. entren, "enter into a place or a situation; join a group or society" (trans.); early 14c., "make one's entrance" (intrans.), from Old French entrer "enter, go in; enter upon, assume; initiate," from Latin intrare "to go into, enter" (source of Spanish entrar, Italian entrare), from intra "within," related to inter (prep., adv.) "among, between," from PIE *enter "between, among," comparative of root *en "in."
Transitive and intransitive in Latin; in French intransitive only. From c. 1300 in English as "join or engage in: (an activity);" late 14c. as "penetrate," also "have sexual intercourse" (with a woman);" also "make an entry in a record or list," also "assume the duties" (of office, etc.). Related: Entered; entering.