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
The Rosewood team has curated a world-class lifestyle paired with cutting-edge design that brings an elevated sense of luxury to residents and guests in a secured environment that is in tune with the natural surroundings and the local culture. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 16 July 2024 Treat your guests to some tunes with this portable speaker that’s now only $100. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 16 July 2024
A day after that, McAfee announced on-air that Rodgers, who typically guests on the show on Tuesdays, would not return this season. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 11 Jan. 2024 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 See all Example Sentences for guest 

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 23 Jul. 2024.

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 (as a TV show) by invitation

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Edgar Albert 1881–1959 American journalist and poet

More from Merriam-Webster on guest

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