guid·​ance | \ ˈgī-dᵊn(t)s How to pronounce guidance (audio) \

Definition of guidance

1 : the act or process of guiding
2a : the direction provided by a guide couldn't have done it without her guidance
b : advice on vocational or educational problems given to students provides guidance on how to apply for scholarships
3 : the process of controlling the course of a projectile by a built-in mechanism problems with the missile's guidance

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of guidance in a Sentence

I couldn't have done it without her guidance. We need more guidance on how to handle these unusual cases.
Recent Examples on the Web Polson created 12-foot-by-12-foot boxes — twice the 6-foot guidance — throughout his gym. Rusty Simmons,, "San Francisco’s small gyms fight to stay afloat as closures, restrictions stretch on," 27 June 2020 Grand Canyon's guidance contradicts the tribe's On June 23, Jan Balsom, senior adviser for stewardship and tribal programs at Grand Canyon National Park, sent an email to river guides and permit holders clarifying the park’s position. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "Havasu falls are off limits to river rafters during COVID lockdown, Havasupai Tribe says," 27 June 2020 Houstonians were confused and divided on the subject of reopening, and government guidance was contradictory. Ricardo Nuila, The New Yorker, "The Coronavirus Surge That Texas Could Have Seen Coming," 26 June 2020 The new rule largely mirrors guidance DeVos issued in April telling districts to share relief aid based on the total number of private school students in their areas. USA TODAY, "DeVos issues rule requiring public schools share more COVID-19 aid with private schools," 26 June 2020 Variety means multiple food types within a meal (remember Anderson’s food-group guidance). Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, "Food Staples Every Dorm Room Needs," 26 June 2020 Portions of the previous guidance focused on the need for executives and board directors to set the tone for a company’s culture of compliance. Dylan Tokar, WSJ, "DOJ Compliance Guidance Places New Emphasis on Middle Management, Use of Data," 26 June 2020 The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association provided further guidance to its membership Friday as schools around the state continued to prepare for summer contact days. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "WIAA gives teams sports-specific guidance to follow to prevent the spread of the coronavirus," 26 June 2020 Some of the mandates also seem to conflict with previous guidance, according to Melvin. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Virginia to codify COVID-19 rules, concerning the business community," 26 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guidance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of guidance

1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for guidance

guide entry 2 + -ance

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about guidance

Time Traveler for guidance

Time Traveler

The first known use of guidance was in 1590

See more words from the same year

Statistics for guidance

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Guidance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for guidance



Financial Definition of guidance

What It Is

In the stock world, guidance refers to public communication from a company regarding earnings expectations.

How It Works

The world of earnings guidance is large and fluid, whereby the management of publicly traded companies issue public estimates about what they expect earnings to be for the coming quarter. Guidance is based on management's experience, calculations and outlook, and it significantly influences the analysts covering the stock, because the analysts incorporate the information into their own research and earnings forecasts for their clients.

Before August 2000, it was legal for public companies to provide guidance to chosen analysts rather than publicly disclose their guidance. The SEC's adoption of Regulation FD in August 2000 prohibited this selective disclosure of material nonpublic information, and public companies must now publicly disseminate guidance and earnings estimates to analysts all at the same time.

When management becomes aware that the company probably will not meet the expectations it previously communicated, the company typically issues a profit warning via press release or conference call with analysts several weeks before announcing quarterly earnings.

Why It Matters

Guidance considerably influences stock prices because it helps investors evaluate a stock's potential. If investors expect a company to report, say, $0.10 in earnings per share next quarter, but the company actually reports $0.08, many investors might sell the stock and the company's stock price will therefore probably fall after the announcement. Conversely, if the company reports $0.12, the stock price will probably rise. The degree of "miss" or "surprise" influences how much the stock price will change. This is why guidance is usually a company's attempt to "soften the blow" or “fluff the pillows” before announcing earnings.

Some companies do not give guidance. They usually make that choice to reduce legal liability in the event that management's estimates are wrong. Some analysts claim that companies that do not offer any guidance often receive a "break" on stock price changes when these companies miss earnings, because the market is aware that the company's management has given the analysts (and their resulting estimates) no input.

Source: Investing Answers


How to pronounce guidance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of guidance

: help or advice that tells you what to do : the act or process of guiding someone or something
: the process of controlling the flight of something (such as a missile)


guid·​ance | \ ˈgī-dᵊns How to pronounce guidance (audio) \

Kids Definition of guidance

: help, instruction, or assistance I fumbled for my cross and was about to pray for guidance— Avi, Crispin

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on guidance

What made you want to look up guidance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!