1 of 2


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


2 of 2


guided; guiding

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to act or work as a guide
guider noun
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
In North America alone, the guide has added five other locales in the past couple of years: Florida, Toronto, and Vancouver received lists in 2022, while Colorado and Atlanta joined the rankings last year. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 15 May 2024 Download apps such as Calm, Worry Time, Breathe or Triangle of Life (ABCT's app guide has many recommendations) or try a podcast. Wendy Grossman Kantor, Peoplemag, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for guide 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'guide.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use


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


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near guide

Cite this Entry

“Guide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: one that leads or directs another on a course
: a person who shows and explains points of interest (as on a tour)
: something that provides guiding information
a street guide
: a device for steadying or directing the motion of something


2 of 2 verb
guided; guiding
: to act as a guide : conduct
guide a group on a tour
: manage sense 1, direct
guide a boat through the rapids

Medical Definition


: a grooved director for a surgical probe or knife

More from Merriam-Webster on guide

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