\ 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 Reaction to the column, that suggested among other things that Walt Disney would be aghast at the changes at his parks, was mostly negative, countering the guest commentator’s claims. Richard Tribou,, "Disneyland inclusion of Snow White scene draws criticism from some media," 4 May 2021 The second part is a 10-minute breathing out meditation, followed by guest feedback and reflections on their experience. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "You Can Meditate With Real Monks Live From Japan With This Airbnb Experience," 4 May 2021 As a part of his Project RED initiative, Bono guest edits UK newspaper The Independent for a day, filling the paper with stories about HIV/AIDS in Africa as well as global warming and poverty. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Bono Fast Facts," 4 May 2021 When Danny Widdicombe led a Tom Petty tribute night on August 1st, 2020, at the Outpost, part of the Fortitude Music Hall, just 100 meters from the Zoo, the venue was limited to half its 300-person capacity, every guest seated at a table. Poppy Reid, Rolling Stone, "Live From the Trans-Tasman Bubble: How Australia Brought Concerts Back," 4 May 2021 The short film, which premieres exclusively across editions of Condé Nast Traveler worldwide today, features the unlikely duo, split between New York City and Zermatt, with a guest appearance from the towering Matterhorn. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "Roger Federer Teams up with Robert DeNiro in a New Switzerland Tourism Campaign," 4 May 2021 Additionally, the college is issuing guest tickets this year, allowing four per graduate. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Minaret vaccination, Rushmore fight, enrollment drops: News from around our 50 states," 4 May 2021 This is made for easy placement in any master or guest bathroom. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Toilet Paper Holder Stand," 4 May 2021 About 80 people had streamed in to sign the guest registrar and briefly stand by the open casket. Danielle Wallace, Fox News, "Andrew Brown Jr. funeral: Rev. Al Sharpton to deliver eulogy at North Carolina service," 3 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The album drops May 28, features guest appearances from jam-band guitar-hero Warren Haynes and country songsmith Jamey Johnson. Matt Wake |, al, "Blackberry Smoke: The best current Southern-rock band in the land," 15 Apr. 2021 The series recently tapped all-star player Buzzy Cohen, who won the 2017 champions tournament, to guest host the 10-day battle of 15 top winners, which will be broadcast May 17-28 (check local listings). Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "LeVar Burton joins final round of 'Jeopardy!' guest hosts after campaign," 22 Apr. 2021 This March, Katie became the first woman to guest host Jeopardy! Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "Stylemakers Who Are Making a Difference," 20 Apr. 2021 Broadcaster Joe Buck will guest host the program, putting himself in contention for the permanent job, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: If the Cincinnati Reds miss the MLB Playoffs by a game, whoo boy," 20 Apr. 2021 Sadie Stanley, Kenny Ridwan, Beth Triffon, Zach Callison and Zane Emory will guest star. Antonio Ferme,, "ABC sets George Segal’s final episode of ‘The Goldbergs’," 2 Apr. 2021 Derek Hough, Olivia Rose Keegan, Roman Banks, Andrew Barth Feldman and Asher Angel will guest star this season. Antonio Ferme,, "New trailers for ‘The Chi’ with Chicago rapper Vic Mensa, a documentary about Cher and an elephant," 8 Apr. 2021 The winners will be invited to The Essex to guest teach a class alongside one of the resort's professional instructors. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Your Mom Could Win a Luxury Vacation and Chance to Teach a Cooking Class at Vermont’s Best Culinary Resort," 4 Apr. 2021 Luddington, who plays Dr. Jo Wilson on the ABC medical drama, also referenced the recent announcement that actress Sarah Drew will be returning to guest star in an upcoming episode. Ally Mauch,, "Camilla Luddington Says 'So Many Crazy Unexpected People Coming Back' to Grey's Anatomy This Season," 27 Mar. 2021

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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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on guest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guest

Nglish: Translation of guest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guest for Arabic Speakers

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