\ 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 space was so popular that Dana and Jim moved into a small condo a quarter of a mile away, and Dana found herself making several trips to the Airbnb every day to accommodate the needs of her guests. Michelle Matthews |, al, "Dreams come true at this Zen inn on Mobile Bay," 14 Jan. 2020 He is believed to have let the royal couple stay at his property, which is 11,416 square feet with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms and a guest cottage, for free. Carlin Becker, Washington Examiner, "Billionaire Clinton friend providing luxury Canadian hideaway for Meghan and Prince Harry," 12 Jan. 2020 Over footage of detritus in parks and sidewalks, Carlson pressed his guest, the Manhattan Institute’s Seth Barron, about why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district in Queens was so dirty. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Why Tucker Carlson Is Obsessed With Trash," 10 Jan. 2020 After skiing the active volcano at Nevados de Chillan, guests congregate at the resort’s natural hot springs. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "An International Guide to the World of Aprés-Ski," 9 Jan. 2020 The settlement is a victory for working women, said Trish Nelson, a longtime server who said she was frequently harassed by Mr. Friedman and his guests. New York Times, "Ken Friedman of the Spotted Pig Will Pay $240,000 in Sexual Harassment Case," 7 Jan. 2020 After the 2016 season, when Hunter had 12 1/2 sacks and was passed over for the Pro Bowl and Vikings nose tackle Linval Joseph made it, Joseph took Hunter as his guest. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "For first time in 16 years, Vikings have an NFL interception leader: Anthony Harris," 31 Dec. 2019 Listening to her gossip and joke with her guests is like sitting in on a chat between close friends—one of whom happens to be very famous. Laura Jane Standley, The Atlantic, "The 50 Best Podcasts of 2019," 27 Dec. 2019 Ironically for the punch-drunk passengers of Southwest Airlines Flight 8 from Dallas to L.A., the only major U.S. carrier that doesn't charge luggage fees is Southwest, which lets its guests check two bags for free. Dan Catchpole, Fortune, "Gate-Checked Again? Here’s Why There’s No Room for Your Carry-On Bags in the Overhead Bin," 19 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The first episode will guest star Lea Michele (AKA the iconic Rachel Berry) as the three watch the Glee premiere from 2009. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Kevin McHale and Jenna Ushkowitz to Recap “Glee” on Their “Showmance” Podcast," 11 Jan. 2020 Iconic, Swampers session musician David Hood guested on ’90s hit-maker Sheryl Crow’s new album. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Here are Alabama’s Entertainers of the Year," 31 Dec. 2019 As a bonus, Monahan, will guest star as himself on the episode. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Train Unveils the Tropical 'Mai Tais' Featuring Skylar Grey," 15 Nov. 2019 Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc also guest starred in other episodes, gifting us with brief reunions of our favorite pals. Sophie Dodd,, "Friends Forever! Every Time the Friends Cast Has Hung Out In Real Life," 15 Oct. 2019 The original series, like many other modern podcasts, is also known for live-recording events across the United States, sometimes even with live bands guesting with sonic experiments. Ars Technica, "Radiolab co-host to depart podcast after 15 years," 5 Dec. 2019 Enninful also spoke of the collaborative process, sharing that Meghan is the first person to guest edit the magazine's September issue. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Will Interview Michelle Obama as the Guest Editor of British Vogue," 28 July 2019 The Carroll County Times regularly publishes Religion Briefs about news from local places of worship, from new clergy to guest speakers to special services and classes., "Religion Briefs: Live Nativity at Faith Lutheran returns for 38th consecutive year," 30 Nov. 2019 The chorale will be joined by the Kang Hua Singers and guest musicians., "Community News For The Windsor Edition," 27 Nov. 2019

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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Guest.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 20 January 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on guest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guest

Spanish Central: Translation of guest

Nglish: Translation of guest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guest for Arabic Speakers

Comments on guest

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not to be intimidated or subdued

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