\ 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

The staffers and celebrity guests all wore Browne’s clothes, which elevate traditional men’s tailoring with conceptually fascinating details, with the aid of insanely expensive craft and detail. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "A Message of Useful Beauty from New York Fashion Week," 10 Sep. 2019 Nicola Glass, marking her first full year as creative director, said the idea Saturday was to celebrate the city’s green spaces and offer guests the experience of people watching in a New York City cafe. Washington Post, "Kate Spade takes NY Fashion Week guests on a city safari," 10 Sep. 2019 According to real estate listings, the home includes a 2,400-square foot detached guest house. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "Tom Brady on new Patriots WR Antonio Brown: 'I'd love for him to stay at my house'," 9 Sep. 2019 The detached guest house has a view deck that offers mountain and city light views. Ebony Day, azcentral, "5 Paradise Valley homes sell for more than $2M," 9 Sep. 2019 Global Café aims to be a gathering place to bring together guests from all different walks of life interested in learning more about different cultures and food. Brittney Oliver, Essence, "Black City Guide: 72 Hours in Memphis," 9 Sep. 2019 If this guest gymnast was John’s athlete, there was nothing my teammates or our coach could do. Rachael Denhollander,, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Competitive Gymnastics," 9 Sep. 2019 With guests and models all wearing pieces reminiscent of our old school uniforms, the designer's installation was both nostalgic and tongue-in-cheek. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Met Stranger Things at Thom Browne's NYFW Show," 8 Sep. 2019 Pechanga Resort & Casino: Pechanga unveiled a newly elevated Temptations Food Walk, its busy six-station food court that attracts approximately 2,200 guests during the week and 4,500 on weekends. San Diego Union-Tribune, "What’s new at San Diego casinos: restaurants, beer, mobile apps and menu changes," 8 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Orange Coast College offers Pilates series Orange Coast College is hosting its 13th annual Pilates guest speaker series through November. Daily Pilot, "Around Town: Blessing of the Waves returns to Surf City on Sunday," 5 Sep. 2019 Emotional Whirlwind, 280 rider per hour Loading process: The ride stops and guests board the eight dangling vehicles that lift and rotate slowly. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Disneyland ride capacity: How long will you have to wait in line?," 16 Aug. 2019 John Legend and Chrissy Teigen will guest-star during the upcoming 31st season, Fox announced on Wednesday. Dan Snierson,, "The Simpsons adds John Legend and Chrissy Teigen to season 31 guest roster," 7 Aug. 2019 Rick is a past-his-peak actor relegated to guest spots playing heavies on TV crime shows and westerns. Los Angeles Times, "‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’ is the year’s first surefire Oscar best picture nominee," 2 Aug. 2019 In a statement, Aguirre-Sacasa said Perry had wanted Doherty to guest since season 1 of the show. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "Shannen Doherty to guest in 'Riverdale' tribute to Luke Perry," 21 July 2019 All manage check-in and guest communications via app. Joanne Cleaver,, "Like Airbnb-hotel hybrids, short-term rental startups are setting up shop in Chicago," 15 July 2019 Mullins said the security guard took her to guest services to write a formal complaint against the woman. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Arizona Mills investigates after mom of 3-year-old with autism says she was asked to leave mall area," 9 July 2019 Funk Brothers alum Dennis Coffey will also guest on guitar. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Concert of Colors: What you need to know about the revamped 2019 festival," 10 July 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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Statistics for guest

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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