\ ˈgest How to pronounce guest (audio) \

Definition of guest

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : a person entertained in one's house
b : a person to whom hospitality is extended
c : a person who pays for the services of an establishment (such as a hotel or restaurant)
2 : an organism (such as an insect) sharing the dwelling of another especially : inquiline
3 : a substance that is incorporated in a host substance
4 : a usually prominent person not a regular member of a cast or organization who appears in a program or performance


guested; guesting; guests

Definition of guest (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to receive as a guest

intransitive verb

: to appear as a guest


biographical name
\ ˈgest How to pronounce Guest (audio) \

Definition of Guest (Entry 3 of 3)

Edgar Albert 1881–1959 American journalist and poet

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Democrats want security officials to look into guest logs that could provide any information on who may signed into the complex, as well as who granted access. TheWeek, "34 House Democrats call for investigation of 'concerning' Capitol tours day before riot," 13 Jan. 2021 Members of Congress get two tickets to the swearing-in for themselves and one guest. Roxanne Roberts, Anchorage Daily News, "A transfer of power like no other, at a time like no other in U.S. history," 13 Jan. 2021 The last guest to arrive is Kenya’s better half, LaToya, clocking in at a stunning one hour, 22 minutes, and 39 seconds after Cynthia arrived. Chris Murphy, Vulture, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta Recap: Ice, Ice, Bailey," 11 Jan. 2021 Extras like pallbearers, flowers, limousines, guest registers are generally eschewed, which also means a loss in revenue for the funeral homes, despite the increase in demand. Carolyn Said,, "Bay Area funeral homes cope with COVID-19 onslaught, and things could get worse," 11 Jan. 2021 No Arlo guest - or any person - should be subject to this kind of behavior. Jasely Molina,, "Dear Miya Ponsetto, You Can Be Latinx & Still Be A Karen," 10 Jan. 2021 Police were called to the Extended Stay South around 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 2 for a dispute between staff and a guest who had been advised to leave the hotel about 40 minutes earlier. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Fleeing driver ditches car, jumps off 2nd level of Pinecrest parking garage: Orange Police Blotter," 10 Jan. 2021 Wedding guest photos spark dating rumors, fans react On Monday, tabloid photos and videos surfaced that showed Wilde and Styles holding hands while attending his agent Jeffrey Azoff's wedding in California over the weekend. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "Why is everyone talking about Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles?," 6 Jan. 2021 There will also be weekly guest panelists on the show, including The Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "Everything You Need to Know About 'The Masked Dancer'," 6 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In addition to banning in-person dining and services and gathering among separate households, the lockdown forbids guest visits at breweries and wineries. James Ross Gardner, The New Yorker, "As the Vaccine Arrives, Death and Denial Rage in a California Coronavirus Epicenter," 22 Dec. 2020 Tyson also guest starred in the second season of How to Get Away with Murder. Brooklyn White, Essence, "Celebrities Are Sending Love To Cicely Tyson For Her 96th Birthday," 21 Dec. 2020 Stephen Tobolowsky and Dan Bakkedahl also guest star with series regulars George Segal and Jeff Garlin. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘For Life’ on ABC; NBA Draft on ESPN," 17 Nov. 2020 Panelist Nicole Scherzinger pointed out that actress Leah Remini, who guest starred on season 3, is one of Dayne’s closest friends. Ariana Brockington,, "Is The Masked Singer Popcorn Really Taylor Dayne?," 11 Nov. 2020 The lineup features new dances by Wilson and guest choreographer Khamla Somphanh. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: The San Diego Dance Theater stays flexible with a new virtual show and fresh passion," 19 Nov. 2020 Well into the fourth solid day of what is traditionally a one-night process, anchors, correspondents and guest commentators on every news network were people trapped in a living nightmare. Mary Mcnamara Culture Columnist And Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Sleep-deprived, map-numbed TV journalists revive to cover Biden win, U.S. celebrations," 7 Nov. 2020 Not a single host or guest sufficiently criticized or called out Trump's undemocratic conduct. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Analysis: In a moment of truth for America, Biden leads with facts while Trump leads with feelings," 6 Nov. 2020 The New York Mycological Society goes on weekly foraging walks, holds mushroom identification meetings and hosts guest lecturers. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch an Amazing Time-Lapse of Growing Mushrooms," 2 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of guest


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


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for guest


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 5). 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

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Time Traveler for guest

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for guest

Last Updated

19 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for guest


How to pronounce Guest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of guest

: a person who is invited to visit or stay in someone's home
: a person who is invited to a place or an event as a special honor
: a customer at a hotel, restaurant, etc.


\ ˈgest How to pronounce guest (audio) \

Kids Definition of guest

1 : a person invited to visit or stay in someone's home
2 : a person invited to a special place or event a wedding guest
3 : a customer at a hotel, motel, inn, or restaurant

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Comments on guest

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