\ ˈgīd \

Definition of guide

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one that leads or directs another's way needed a guide for the safari
b : a person who exhibits and explains points of interest The museum guide was very helpful.
c : something that provides a person with guiding information used the stars as a guide to find their way back
e : a person who directs another's conduct or course of life He was my mentor and guide during the early years of my career.
2a : a device for steadying or directing the motion of something The jigsaw was equipped with a guide.
b : a ring or loop for holding the line of a fishing rod in position
c : a sheet or a card with projecting tab for labeling inserted in a card index to facilitate reference
3 : a member of a unit on whom the movements or alignments of a military command are regulated used especially in commands guide right


guided; guiding

Definition of guide (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to act as a guide to : direct in a way or course He guided us around the city.
2a : to direct, supervise, or influence usually to a particular end You'll need a lawyer to guide you through the legal system.
b : to superintend the training or instruction of A respected educator guided his studies.

intransitive verb

: to act or work as a guide

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Other Words from guide


guider noun

Synonyms for guide

Synonyms: Noun

attendant, companion, escort, guard

Synonyms: Verb

coach, counsel, lead, mentor, pilot, shepherd, show, tutor

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Choose the Right Synonym for guide


guide, lead, steer, pilot, engineer mean to direct in a course or show the way to be followed. guide implies intimate knowledge of the way and of all its difficulties and dangers. guided the scouts through the cave lead implies showing the way and often keeping those that follow under control and in order. led his team to victory steer implies an ability to keep to a course and stresses the capacity of maneuvering correctly. steered the ship through a narrow channel pilot suggests guidance over a dangerous or complicated course. piloted the bill through the Senate engineer implies finding ways to avoid or overcome difficulties in achieving an end or carrying out a plan. engineered his son's election to the governorship

Examples of guide in a Sentence


We hired a guide for our trip to the mountains. He was my friend and my guide in the early years of my career. They used the stars as a guide to find their way back. If past experience is any guide, we're in for a long and difficult project.


He guided us around the city. He claims that there were unknown forces guiding the outcome of the election. He carefully guided the ship into the harbor. She guided her team to victory. Let your conscience guide you. Her example helped to guide me toward a career in medicine. In his work, he has always been guided by a desire to help other people. programs to help guide teenagers away from drug use She had a guiding influence on my decision. His guiding principle when he built his house was that bigger was better.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Identity Crisis, a 2018 book by leading political scientists John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck, is the best guide to understanding why these demographic divisions are so stark and getting starker. Zack Beauchamp, Vox, "The 9 thinkers who made sense of 2018’s chaos," 27 Dec. 2018 This story is part of the Glamour guide to tipping. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Are You Tipping Enough During Your Hotel Stay?," 12 Dec. 2018 In February, the couple visited the Holmenkollen Ski Jump–one of Oslo's most iconic landmarks–on their 2018 royal tour and Kate decided to start a snowball fight instead of paying attention to the guide. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Watch Kate Middleton and Prince William Have a Cute Snowball Fight," 4 Dec. 2018 Old-School Rule: Follow the 60-30-10 guide for color. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "3 Design "Rules" You Don't Need To Follow Anymore," 15 Nov. 2018 The revered gastronomic guide awarded four new restaurants two stars, and 13 new eateries one star. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Michelin Has Awarded 2019 Stars to These New York City Restaurants," 7 Nov. 2018 In order to take a closer look at your relationship with Venus, calculate your free birth chart on and then head back here to check out the guide below to interpret your results. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What the Position of Venus in Your Birth Chart Means for You," 31 July 2018 There may be the odd trading opportunity here; one company’s performance is no longer a good guide to another’s. Stephen Wilmot, WSJ, "Advertising Groups Face a Costly Fight To Regain Trust," 19 July 2018 The Supreme Court has determined what affirmative action policies are constitutional, and the Court’s written decisions are the best guide for navigating this complex issue. Kathleen Megan,, "Two College Leaders Say Admissions Policies Won't Be Affected by Federal Roll-Back of Obama-Era Policies on Affirmative Action," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Mercy’s electronic-medical-records system has links to tools and algorithms to guide doctors through best practices for different conditions and medication-prescribing decisions. Laura Landro, WSJ, "The Psychiatrist Can See Your Child Now, Virtually," 8 Jan. 2019 Considered one of the oldest living rainforests in the world, the forest holds a special meaning for the aboriginal Kuku Yalanji people who help guide visitors through the winding paths among the towering trees and jewel-like tropical birds. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Why an Around-the-World Private Jet Trip is the Only Way to Fly," 17 Aug. 2018 Other past sherpas include Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who was sherpa for Justice Samuel Alito, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who guided Justice Sonia Sotomayor through her 2009 confirmation. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Kavanaugh getting confirmation help from Senate 'sherpa' Jon Kyl," 15 Aug. 2018 The complex, high-risk mission for international and Thai divers to guide the boys and coach through the cave's flooded and tight passageways had riveted people worldwide. Kaweewit Kaewjinda,, "Hospital: Kids rescued from flooded cave in Thailand lost weight, drank dripping water," 11 July 2018 Founded three years ago through a grant from the William Penn Foundation, the RiverGuides program pays students like Wilson to guide folks through the river. Will Feuer,, "'Within this city..there is this beautiful river.' South Jersey canoe program aims to expand horizons and change lives," 8 July 2018 For the next two hours, Smiley and two other coaches help guide Singh and his classmates through a series of holds, flips and grips. Jon Tayler,, "Million Dollar Moves: After His Unlikely Baseball Career Flamed Out, Rinku Singh's Next Stop Is WWE," 3 July 2018 The massage therapists at the center are not trained to guide patients through psychological treatments but do learn about the power of the mind-body connection and what to expect during sessions using a neurosomatic approach. Katie Parsons,, "Somatic massage helps with pain, trauma," 29 June 2018 FitScript’s digital health program, called GlucoseZone, helps people control their diabetes through fitness by guiding users through workouts based on their real-time glucose levels, recent meals, medication and other information. Rebecca Lurye,, "New Haven's FitScript Partners With American Diabetes Association," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guide.' 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 guide


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for guide

Noun and Verb

Middle English gide, guide, from Anglo-French, from Old Occitan guida, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English wītan to look after, witan to know — more at wit

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Statistics for guide

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for guide

The first known use of guide was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for guide



English Language Learners Definition of guide

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who leads or directs other people on a journey

: a person who shows and explains the interesting things in a place

: a person who helps to direct another person's behavior, life, career, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of guide (Entry 2 of 2)

: to direct or lead (someone)

: to direct or control the path or course of (something)

: to direct or influence the thoughts or behavior of (someone)


\ ˈgīd \

Kids Definition of guide

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone or something (as a book) that leads, directs, or shows the right way


guided; guiding

Kids Definition of guide (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to show the way to She'll guide you on your tour.
2 : to direct or control the course of The coach guided the team to victory.
3 : direct entry 1 sense 6, instruct Let your conscience guide you.


\ ˈgīd \

Medical Definition of guide

: a grooved director for a surgical probe or knife

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More from Merriam-Webster on guide

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guide

Spanish Central: Translation of guide

Nglish: Translation of guide for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of guide for Arabic Speakers

Comments on guide

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


to gather or build up little by little

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