\ 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

Baldwin guest-starred in multiple episodes of the NBC comedy. Dan Snierson,, "Robert De Niro, Caitlyn Jenner, Debra Messing set to roast Alec Baldwin," 12 Aug. 2019 Aniston and Witherspoon have a history on the small screen: Witherspoon guest-starred on Friends as Rachel (Aniston)’s little sister Jill for two episodes during the show’s sixth season. Dave Quinn,, "Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston Promise Drama in First Teaser for The Morning Show," 12 Aug. 2019 Legislators also created laws prohibiting residential or commercial property owners from restricting possession of firearms by residents or their guests. Michelle Iracheta, Houston Chronicle, "New Texas gun laws that go into effect Sept. 1," 12 Aug. 2019 The hotel evacuated all its guests on July 15 and remains closed. CBS News, "Deadly Legionnaires' outbreak at Atlanta hotel a "nationwide problem," attorney says," 12 Aug. 2019 While taking a spin around his ranch in Texas, Johnson would drive his guests down a hill … and into a lake! Dara Elasfar, Twin Cities, "Even presidents need a taste of freedom on summer vacations," 9 Aug. 2019 The subtropical island of Bermuda does not see many icebreakers, but on a warm May day, Dave Ford is standing on one, welcoming his uneasy guests aboard. Rowan Jacobsen, Outside Online, "An Ocean Plastics Field Trip for Corporate Executives," 8 Aug. 2019 Our special guest will be fan-favorite Emmanuel Ledesma, who will be around to sign autographs and mingle after the show. Pat Brennan,, "FC Cincinnati: The Touchline Newsletter, issue 2," 8 Aug. 2019 But Leno seemed to get the hang of his guest judging duties rather quickly, adding a new milestone to his esteemed showbiz career. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "'AGT': 10-year-old opera singer Emanne Beasha stuns Jay Leno, wins Golden Buzzer," 7 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 Friends may have made stars out of Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, and Matt LeBlanc, but the audience at tapings for the beloved NBC sitcom didn’t always give the same love to guest actors. Dave Quinn,, "Friends Actress Who Played Ross' Girlfriend Julie Was 'Booed' by Fans 'Rooting for Rachel'," 20 June 2019 Olivia Munn has done a lot in her career — commercials, TV shows, movies, and now guest-starring as a judge on America's Got Talent. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "8 Facts That Prove 'America's Got Talent' Guest Judge Olivia Munn Has a Fascinating Life," 24 July 2018 Many thanks for Laura Ingraham for allowing me to guest host tonight. Fox News, "Harmeet Dhillon: Lanny Davis sold out Michael Cohen," 21 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

15 Aug 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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to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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