1 of 2


: a person entertained in one's house
: a person to whom hospitality is extended
: a person who pays for the services of an establishment (such as a hotel or restaurant)
: an organism (such as an insect) sharing the dwelling of another
especially : inquiline
: a substance that is incorporated in a host substance
: a usually prominent person not a regular member of a cast or organization who appears in a program or performance


2 of 2


guested; guesting; guests

transitive verb

: to receive as a guest

intransitive verb

: to appear as a guest

Examples of guest in a Sentence

Noun Our guests should be arriving soon. Only invited guests are allowed inside the banquet hall. He played at the country club as a guest of one of the members. Our guests receive the finest quality service. Frequent guests receive a discount.
Recent Examples on the Web
Macy’s Black Friday Clothing Deals Macy’s selection of wedding guest dresses, winter coats, and cashmere sweaters, is *chef’s kiss*. Melanie Curry, Glamour, 24 Nov. 2023 Reef: Save 30 percent off sitewide, including water-friendly sandals and shoes. Reformation: Reformation is offering 25 percent off sitewide, including wedding guest dresses, cashmere sweaters, and chunky loafers. Meaghan Kenny, Condé Nast Traveler, 24 Nov. 2023 In addition to the concert, Martell Cognac provided a unique experience for select guests that featured cocktails such as the French 75, the Swift & Ginger, the Martell Martarita, and the Pomme Highball. Okla Jones, Essence, 24 Nov. 2023 Staying close friends with his Victorious castmates, Bennett appeared in two of Grande’s music videos, surprised fans onstage during her Sweetener tour and guest starred on an episode of Dynasty alongside Gillies. Emy Lacroix, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2023 Central to the wellbeing element is the guests’ onboard experience. Julia Zaltzman, Robb Report, 24 Nov. 2023 Today, however, the Domaine’s guests are more lowkey than warrior kings on horseback—discretion goes hand in hand with the secluded calm of the estate’s still lakes and rows of beech, oak, and chestnut trees that turn gold in the autumn sun. Shon Faye, Vogue, 23 Nov. 2023 Steak and salmon were on each guest's plate and Scott, sitting across from his nephew, appeared tired -- or at the very least less animated. Gabriella Abdul-Hakim, ABC News, 13 Nov. 2023 Rosewood Little Dix Bay There are two crystalline pools, a tennis court, and a water sports center where guests can sail Hobie Cats, kayak, snorkel, and paddleboard in the tranquil bay. Sophie Dodd, Travel + Leisure, 12 Nov. 2023
John Legend, Teigen’s husband, will also guest star in addition to appearances from Kumail Nanjiani, Regina Hall, Simu Liu and other celebrities. Starr Bowenbank, Billboard, 6 Nov. 2023 While appearing on his SiriusXM radio show, Radio Andy, earlier this week, Andy Cohen revealed to guest Danny Pellegrino that the RHONJ cast was supposed to travel to the Berkshires in Massachusetts, but a fire ruined their plans. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 28 Oct. 2023 Ever since Thalía invited Becky to guest on one of her songs back in 2015, the two have stayed close, reaching out to compliment each other and trade advice. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 24 Oct. 2023 During an episode of her daytime talk show this week, Clarkson spoke to guest Bowen Yang about Swift and Travis Kelce’s surprise Saturday Night Live appearance and the sketch lampooning the NFL’s newfound obsession with the couple. Vulture, 22 Oct. 2023 Bloom will guest star as the new character and jeweler Mr. Raccoon, who assists with the preparations Mr. Bull and Mrs. Cow’s nuptials in the show’s first-ever wedding. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 Oct. 2023 Bebe Neuwirth will also guest star in one episode, reprising the role of Dr. Lilith Sternin. Joe Otterson, Variety, 22 Aug. 2023 Your window coverings can be sale items; so can guest linens and bedding. Erin Hayes Burt, Dallas News, 1 Sep. 2023 The concert also features Jessie Reyez, who guests on the album. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 4 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'guest.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English gest, gyst, gust, gist "person to whom hospitality is extended, visitor, stranger," going back to Old English giest, gyst, gest, gæst (with Middle English g probably in part from Old Norse gestr), going back to Germanic *gasti- (whence also Old Frisian jest "guest," Old Saxon & Old High German gast "guest, stranger," Old Norse gestr, Gothic gasts "stranger") going back to dialectal Indo-European *ghost-i- "outsider, guest," whence also Old Church Slavic gostĭ "guest," Latin hostis "foreigner, stranger" (in early use), "enemy"

Note: An etymon limited to three western Indo-European branches. Further analysis of the word has been made on the basis of early use of Latin hostis, taken to mean, on the basis of the Law of the Twelve Tables, "outsider due the same right of ownership as a Roman citizen"; from the same base would be hostus "yield of olive oil from a single pressing" (narrowed from a presumed more general "yield, compensation"), the derived verb hostīre "to recompense, requite," and the noun hostia "sacrificial animal, sacrifice" ("recompense to the gods," perhaps originally feminine of an adjective *hostius, the deleted noun having designated an animal; see host entry 3). Ancestral *ghos-ti- could hypothetically be a derivative of an Indo-European verbal base *ǵhes- "take, give in exchange." With the loss in later Roman practice of the strict legal meaning, Latin hostis became restricted in meaning to "hostile outsider, enemy." This shift is noted by varro, who remarked that hostis was used by "our ancestors" in a sense now covered by peregrīnus (see pilgrim).


Middle English gesten, derivative of gest guest entry 1

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of guest was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near guest

Cite this Entry

“Guest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a person entertained in one's house
: a person to whom hospitality is given
guests at a school banquet
: a customer at a hotel, motel, inn, or restaurant
: a usually well-known person who appears or performs on a program by invitation
guests on a TV show

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Edgar Albert 1881–1959 American journalist and poet

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