\ 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 Guest Room Cleaning: All guest rooms are cleaned with strict adherence to the guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Environmental Protection Agency. Micolette Davis, Chron, "Book a trip to the Golden Nugget and receive 20% off their best available rate," 17 Dec. 2020 Dockside, which has 2,050 guest rooms, came online as part of the Endless Summer Resort located off International Drive and Universal Boulevard. Gabrielle Russon,, "Universal Orlando’s Dockside and Disney World hotels are opening," 15 Dec. 2020 The Baranof Hotel, a 1939 art deco showpiece in downtown Juneau with about 200 guest rooms, laundry service and a restaurant just blocks from the Capitol, is closed through the winter due to the pandemic. Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, "Pandemic causes housing headaches for Alaska lawmakers returning to Juneau for next legislative session," 14 Dec. 2020 The ordinance takes place immediately and requires hotels with 200 or more guest rooms to bring back workers who were furloughed or laid off because of the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than hiring replacements for lower wages. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How they voted, Dec. 13," 13 Dec. 2020 Each of the hotel’s 14 guest rooms has its own mezuzah. Larry Luxner,, "For West Virginia’s few Jews, the pandemic has offered silver linings," 30 Dec. 2020 Best of all, this fall the owners closed the hotel part of their property across the street and turned its former guest rooms into private dining rooms for the Homestyle Restaurant. Valerie Stivers, WSJ, "Three Ways to Hibernate in Vermont During Covid," 29 Dec. 2020 The Avid has 87 guest rooms and each room has a 55-inch HD TV as well as complimentary wireless internet service among other amenities. Paul Gattis |, al, "New hotel with giant TVs opens at Town Madison," 28 Dec. 2020 That adds up to some 1,628 guest rooms, which makes this the biggest hotel (by capacity) in Southern California. Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, "San Diego’s Waterfront: a driving tour," 22 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In addition to banning in-person dining and services and gathering among separate households, the lockdown forbids guest visits at breweries and wineries. James Ross Gardner, The New Yorker, "As the Vaccine Arrives, Death and Denial Rage in a California Coronavirus Epicenter," 22 Dec. 2020 Tyson also guest starred in the second season of How to Get Away with Murder. Brooklyn White, Essence, "Celebrities Are Sending Love To Cicely Tyson For Her 96th Birthday," 21 Dec. 2020 Stephen Tobolowsky and Dan Bakkedahl also guest star with series regulars George Segal and Jeff Garlin. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "What’s on TV Wednesday: ‘For Life’ on ABC; NBA Draft on ESPN," 17 Nov. 2020 Panelist Nicole Scherzinger pointed out that actress Leah Remini, who guest starred on season 3, is one of Dayne’s closest friends. Ariana Brockington,, "Is The Masked Singer Popcorn Really Taylor Dayne?," 11 Nov. 2020 The lineup features new dances by Wilson and guest choreographer Khamla Somphanh. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: The San Diego Dance Theater stays flexible with a new virtual show and fresh passion," 19 Nov. 2020 Well into the fourth solid day of what is traditionally a one-night process, anchors, correspondents and guest commentators on every news network were people trapped in a living nightmare. Mary Mcnamara Culture Columnist And Critic, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Sleep-deprived, map-numbed TV journalists revive to cover Biden win, U.S. celebrations," 7 Nov. 2020 Not a single host or guest sufficiently criticized or called out Trump's undemocratic conduct. Brian Stelter, CNN, "Analysis: In a moment of truth for America, Biden leads with facts while Trump leads with feelings," 6 Nov. 2020 The New York Mycological Society goes on weekly foraging walks, holds mushroom identification meetings and hosts guest lecturers. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch an Amazing Time-Lapse of Growing Mushrooms," 2 Nov. 2020

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 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guest.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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