\ 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

Synonyms for guest

Synonyms: Noun

account, client, customer, patron

Visit the Thesaurus 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

Don't Tell Comedy is a nationwide comedy tour that features secret comedians performing at a secret location, with details revealed to guests on the day of the event. Adam Lukach, RedEye Chicago, "5 things to do this weekend in Chicago," 12 July 2018 The 18 home cooks were split into two teams to serve appetizers and entrees to guests at Season 7 winner Shaun O'Neale’s March nuptials. Tracy Swartz,, "South Loop contestant vows to win 'MasterChef' wedding challenge as team captain," 11 July 2018 While some traditions remained the same at all three christenings, such as Prince William and Kate Middleton serving their wedding cake to guests, Prince Louis' special day featured some big changes. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Comparing Prince Louis' Christening with Prince George's and Princess Charlotte's," 9 July 2018 The adults-only pool and spa are open only to guests staying at one of the resort's 100 cottages, suites, and private homes, adding to the property's ultra-private feel. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "T&C Travel Guide: Napa Valley and Sonoma County, California," 9 July 2018 Following the service, Prince William and Kate will give a private tea at Clarence House, with slices of Louis’ christening cake—a tier taken from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding cake—to be served to guests. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Why The Queen and Prince Philip Won't Attend Prince Louis' Christening," 9 July 2018 The Voodoo Lounge, located on the northeast wing, fuses sports bar culture and live music with trivia nights and video poker. The glassed-in patio space seats up to 56 guests. Patrick Z. Mcgavin, Daily Southtown, "Guide to outdoor dining in Chicago suburbs: Chuck's Southern Comforts Cafe in Burbank," 9 July 2018 The finished product was revealed to guests and media members on Monday in advance of September’s BMW Championship, the third of four PGA Tour FedExCup playoff events, and the views of the course from the clubhouse area are striking. Joe Juliano,, "Aronimink ready to show off restored course at September PGA event," 9 July 2018 The new functionality allows hosts to personalize an invitation, and send invites to guests. Penelope Walker, USA TODAY, "Text-based invitations deliver a whole new way to plan a party," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Volunteers and staff will oversee set up and guest check-in and give out tour information. Janet Eastman,, "Strut your cat love: Show off your catio at upcoming tour (photos)," 23 Mar. 2018 This week's main challenge had the girls guesting on a fake talk show and showing off improv skills. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 10 recap: Sexy babies and Shania Twain," 19 Apr. 2018 Three evolutionary scientists who guest-curated the show offered their perspectives on how evolution explains not just the characteristics of amoebas, ants and antelopes but also the uniquely human endeavor of art. Scientific American, "Promiscuous Men, Chaste Women and Other Gender Myths," 4 Sep. 2017 Wordlaw walked along the gates of the garden Thursday, listening to guest speakers talk of reaching out to residents like her. William Lee,, "New center, garden in Austin will serve as 'peace hub'," 25 May 2018 During their conversation, Gilmer brought up Alisa’s earlier visit to San Diego to guest solo with the orchestra. Diane Bell,, "Trump's ambassador to Germany is former San Diegan Ric Grenell," 4 May 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, from Old Norse gestr; akin to Old English giest guest, stranger, Latin hostis stranger, enemy

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about guest

Statistics for guest

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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

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).


a magnificent or impressive array

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!