\ ˈgest \

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 \

Definition of Guest (Entry 3 of 3)

Edgar Albert 1881–1959 American journalist and poet

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of guest in a Sentence


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Be a great guest and show up with a token of appreciation for your generous host, like stylish stationery or a box of fancy chocolates. Nicola Fumo, Harper's BAZAAR, "Thoughtful Gifts For Everyone On Your List," 12 Dec. 2018 But this was a breach of the company’s internal database of hotel guests, not online accounts. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Marriott Starwood hotel data breach FAQ: What 500 million hacked guests need to know," 30 Nov. 2018 An employee of a business in the 1500 block of Milwaukee Avenue told police July 5 that someone walked into the lobby, asked to see a guest and swore at the clerk when denied. Alexandra Kukulka,, "Blotter: 16-year-old without valid license left accident scene in Glenview," 13 July 2018 Martin Sandifer, Victory Temple Missionary Baptist Church, will be a special guest, among others. Staff Report, Post-Tribune, "Church news," 13 July 2018 The guest list is full of fellow musicians and showbiz people. Longreads, "Tennis vs. Tennis," 13 July 2018 The restaurants and gift shop are part of Fort Bearizona, an expansion that includes a more traditional zoo, allowing guests to get close looks at javelinas, bobcats, bear cubs and a handful of other creatures. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Bearizona: Top things to do at drive-thru wildlife park in Williams," 12 July 2018 String lights also decorated the house, as did draping, and blankets were available to keep guests warm. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Secrets from Behind-the-Scenes at Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's Wedding," 29 Dec. 2018 The gifts are unwrapped, the Hallmark Christmas movies have all aired, and the holiday guests have packed up and left. Lauren Matthews, Good Housekeeping, "The Only List of After-Christmas Sales You Need," 26 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ask Family Members to (Pretty Please) Pre-Sort Keep two labelled hampers in every bedroom (or guest room)—one for whites and one for darks—then tell family members to abide by the rules. Shelby Deering, Good Housekeeping, "The Laundry Essentials That’ll Save You a Ton of Time During the Holidays," 27 Nov. 2018 Actor Lou Diamond Phillips will also guest star in the first episode as drug cartel member Louis Delgado. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Here's Your First Look at the New Season of 'Blue Bloods'," 31 Aug. 2018 That potential was fulfilled when Rand guested in Luke Cage's second season. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New Iron Fist Season 2 trailer renews our hope for the Netflix series," 17 Aug. 2018 Marijuana is merely another variable, not a whole new social experiment, so guesting and hosting doesn’t change. Robin Abrahams,, "Miss Conduct’s common sense rules for socializing in the age of legal pot," 19 June 2018 Alfre Woodard and Nicole Ari Parker also guest star with series regulars Bryshere Y. Gray, Jussie Smollett and Trai Byers. Ed Stockly,, "Wednesday's TV highlights: 'Krypton' on Syfy," 23 May 2018 When Johnny Galecki agreed to guest-star on the reboot of Roseanne and reprise his role of David Healy, the actor didn’t know what to expect. Julie Jordan,, "Johnny Galecki Says Guest-Starring on Roseanne Was 'Very, Very Surreal and Emotional'," 22 May 2018 Also new is a fine-dining upgrade to the restaurant and renovations to guest facilities. Melinda Fulmer,, "I tried a 100-degree Quartz Massage — and loved it," 29 June 2018 She's invited a plethora of Chicago poets, musicians, and comedians—even footwork legend Tha Pope is slated to perform, and journalist Resita Cox will guest host. Matt Harvey, Chicago Reader, "Chicagoans / Poetry / Race South-side poet Kwynology wants people to fall back in love with Chicago at her open mike," 25 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about guest

Statistics for guest

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for guest

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for guest



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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on guest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guest

Spanish Central: Translation of guest

Nglish: Translation of guest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guest for Arabic Speakers

Comments on guest

What made you want to look up guest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


someone who never drinks alcohol

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!