\ 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


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

Rayna's famed abode boasts six spacious bedrooms (including one with an entire private apartment, NBD), eight full bathrooms, three half baths, and sit-down seating for up to 50 guests. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "The Real-Life House Where Rayna Jaymes Lived on 'Nashville' Is for Sale," 18 May 2019 Almost 1 week away from having the Gatlinburg SkyBridge available for guests. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Gatlinburg SkyBridge, the Third Longest Pedestrian Bridge in the World, Is Now Open in Tennessee," 17 May 2019 The cakes that were served to the wedding guests had been pre-cut earlier in the day. Annabelle Spranklen, Town & Country, "Baker Claire Ptak Reveals the Drama Behind Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Cake," 17 May 2019 Credit Karma also found that the top five debt-causing expenses for wedding guests are gifts (58 percent), lodgings (44 percent), prewedding events and showers (43 percent), outfits (43 percent), and to-and-from travel (42 percent). Samantha Leac, Glamour, "20 Percent of Americans Have Gone Into Debt From Attending a Wedding," 8 May 2019 The Papinchaks opened Polymath Park in 2007, with their original home near the park turned into a restaurant for guests. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "A Frank Lloyd Wright resort in Pennsylvania adds a new home," 3 May 2019 After dinner, the event was opened up to all other guests for some live country and rock music. Meredith Heuer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Katie Ermilio & Tylee Abbott's Wedding Turned Pennsylvania into the English Countryside—on a Horse Farm," 29 Apr. 2019 And Janelle Monáe gave everyone a futuristic fashion show with some notable special guests. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Best Stage Moments From Coachella 2019," 14 Apr. 2019 Several senior members of the royal family and other high-profile guests attended the nuptials, including Kate Middleton's younger sister, Pippa Middleton. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Pippa Middleton Wears Stunning Blue Dress to Lady Gabriella Windsor's Wedding," 18 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Despite placing fifth in the competition, she was later recruited by Abby Lee Miller to guest star on Dance Moms and vie for a permanent spot on the team. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "The Rise of ‘Dance Moms’ Star Jojo Siwa," 22 May 2019 Lori, who guest starred as Aunt Becky on Fuller House and was a regular on the original '90s Full House show, is expected not to return for the fifth and final season of the Netflix series. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Full House' Star Candace Cameron Bure Made It Clear Where She Stands After Lori Loughlin Scandal," 25 Mar. 2019 Or for Ariana to guest star on ANTM and give expert tips on her style. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Ariana Grande Fangirls Over Tyra Banks on Twitter—and Tyra's a Fan," 7 Feb. 2019 Swizz Beats, Jeremih, PnB Rock and Jahlil Beats also guest on the release. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Meek Mill Releases 'Legends of the Summer' EP: Stream It Now," 6 July 2018 Each stopover is tailored to guest’s individual tastes by TCS World Travel’s expert expedition leaders so that each experience is truly singular. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Why an Around-the-World Private Jet Trip is the Only Way to Fly," 17 Aug. 2018 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

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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Statistics for guest

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for guest

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

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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 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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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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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