\ ˈgīd How to pronounce guide (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from guide


guider noun

Synonyms for guide

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Noun 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. Verb 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun To learn more or view the whole guide, go to Mary Sullivan,, "Wreaths Across America boosted by donation from Laurel’s Mission BBQ | OLD TOWN," 29 Apr. 2021 Use The Enquirer’s guide to vaccination to find a shot either by walking in or through an appointment. Anne Saker, The Enquirer, "COVID-19 vaccine: Where to walk in for a shot, make an appointment in Cincinnati region," 29 Apr. 2021 Season ticket holders will get first dibs on seats during Monday’s presale — limited to 25% capacity, which would be 4,929 if officials go by the 19,717 figure listed in the Hawks media guide. Phil Thompson,, "Chicago Blackhawks are targeting 20% capacity when tickets to the final 2 games go on sale Monday: ‘It’s huge. The atmosphere ... it brings more emotion’," 29 Apr. 2021 Of course, no one was steering except the guide, and our paddles were cattywampus, flailing about. Barry Moline, Forbes, "Preparing For A Crisis Always Pays Off," 28 Apr. 2021 The virtual-only guide offers information on some of the city’s most interesting activities, attractions, and history, and also includes listings of accommodations, restaurants, shopping and entertainment, with links to an event calendar and maps., "A hotel makeover, getaways to support LGBTQ+ youth, and a lighter on a mission," 28 Apr. 2021 There are many more worth exploring; check out the the online guide at Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "23 movies you should check out at the 2021 Milwaukee Film Festival, which is all-online (yes, again)," 27 Apr. 2021 The buyer gets the NFT and the power to remove the paywall on the page, making the guide to some of the region’s top outdoor spots free for everyone, forever. Emilio Garcia-ruiz, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can NFTs fund local news? We're selling one to find out," 27 Apr. 2021 The previous decade isn’t the best guide to current conditions. Mickey D. Levy And Michael D. Bordo, WSJ, "The Fed in the Sand as Inflation Threatens," 26 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As a behavioral scientist, Jon Levy is used to researching what affects decision-making and how to guide people to healthy behaviors. Rachel King, Fortune, "6 new books to read in May," 1 May 2021 The researchers think they may have been built to guide a procession from one end to the other. Tom Metcalfe, NBC News, "These mysterious stone structures in Saudi Arabia are older than the pyramids," 30 Apr. 2021 For directions on building a large, greenhouse-type cloche with PVC pipe and plastic, check out the OSU Extension guide on How to Build Your Own Raised Bed Cloche. oregonlive, "Is it time to plant vegetable gardens in Oregon? What about tomatoes?," 27 Apr. 2021 Antigua worked at Kentucky from 2009 to 2014 as an assistant under John Calipari, helping guide the Wildcats to three Final Fours and a national championship. Shannon Ryan,, "Illinois assistants Orlando Antigua and Chin Coleman reportedly are candidates to join Kentucky’s coaching staff," 27 Apr. 2021 George scored 33 points to guide the Clippers to a 109-104 victory, scoring 10 points in the fourth quarter. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "Paul George’s big game helps Clippers overcome ugly third quarter, beat Rockets," 23 Apr. 2021 She is scheduled to guide the spacecraft to a docking with space station at 5:10 a.m. on Saturday, as part of a crew rotation at the orbiting out post. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "UC San Diego graduate Megan McArthur to fly spacecraft to space station early Friday," 22 Apr. 2021 To guide the animals to the raft, the team first had to sedate them, and then quickly apply a reversal drug. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Last Two Giraffes Rescued From a Disappearing Island in Kenya," 15 Apr. 2021 Here's the New York Times guide to caring for your car after a year of rest. Annie White, Car and Driver, "This Week in Cars: the Hummer SUV, an EV Silverado, and the CLS53 Is Dead," 9 Apr. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about guide

Time Traveler for guide

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for guide

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Guide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce guide (audio) \

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 How to pronounce guide (audio) \

Medical Definition of guide

: a grooved director for a surgical probe or knife

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on guide

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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