host

noun (1)
\ ˈhōst How to pronounce host (audio) \

Definition of host

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : army the destruction of Pharaoh's host in that sea— W. L. Sperry
2 : a great number : multitude a whole host of options

host

verb (1)
hosted; hosting; hosts

Definition of host (Entry 2 of 5)

intransitive verb

: to assemble in an army usually for a hostile purpose

host

noun (2)

Definition of host (Entry 3 of 5)

1a : one that receives or entertains guests socially, commercially, or officially were greeted at the door by our host ourself will mingle with society and play the humble host— William Shakespeare
b : one that provides facilities for an event or function our college served as host for the basketball tournament
2a biology : a living animal or plant on or in which a parasite lives
b biology : the larger, stronger, or dominant member of a commensal or symbiotic pair
c biology : an individual into which a tissue, part, or embryo is transplanted from another
3 : a mineral or rock that is older than the minerals or rocks in it also : a substance that contains a usually small amount of another substance incorporated in its structure
4 : a person who talks to guests on a radio or television program the host of a talk show a game-show host
5 : a computer that controls communications in a network or that administers a database also : server sense 6

host

verb (2)
hosted; hosting; hosts

Definition of host (Entry 4 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : to receive or entertain guests at or for host a dinner : to serve as host (see host entry 3 sense 1a) to host friends
2 : emcee hosted a series of TV programs

host

noun (3), often capitalized

Definition of host (Entry 5 of 5)

religion : the eucharistic bread

First Known Use of host

Noun (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

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

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (3)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for host

Noun (1)

Middle English ost, host "army, detachment, body of attendants, multitude, throng," borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Late Latin hostis "archenemy, the Devil, army," going back to Latin, "foreigner, stranger" (in early use), "enemy," going back to dialectal Indo-European *ghost-i- "outsider, guest" — more at guest entry 1

Note: The use of hostis to mean "army," evident in 6th-century Latin (Gregory the Great, Gregory of Tours), is apparently via the sense shift "enemy" > "enemy army" > "any armed force." For details on the earlier semantic history of Latin hostis see note at guest entry 1.

Verb (1)

derivative of host entry 1

Noun (2)

Middle English ost, host "person who receives guests, guest," borrowed from Anglo-French oste, hoste, going back to Latin hospit-, hospes "guest, visitor, person receiving guests," going back to dialectal Indo-European *ghosti-pot- (whence probably also Old Church Slavic gospodĭ "lord, master"), from *ghost-i- "outsider, guest" + *pot- "one in control, master" — more at guest entry 1, potent entry 1

Note: The dual meanings "host"/"guest" of Latin hospes and its progeny are due to customs of reciprocity: a person serving as guest on one occasion would act—and be expected to act—as host on another occasion to a visiting former host. Both Latin hospes and Slavic gospodĭ have undergone a considerable degree of phonetic reduction from their putative etymons—in particular in the Slavic case, where Latin unstressed syllable reduction and syncope were not at play—leading some to question the correctness of the etymologies. Parallel compounds with the same second element are Greek despótēs "master, lord" (going back to *dems-pot- "master of the house"; see despot), Sanskrit dámpatiḥ "householder, lord of the house," Avestan də̄ṇg paitiš; Sanskrit viśpátiḥ "chief of a settlement/tribe," Avestan vīspaitiš, Lithuanian viẽšpats "lord" (with outcomes of Indo-European *u̯iḱ-, *u̯oiḱ- "house, community"; see vicinity).

Verb (2)

Middle English hosten, osten, derivative of ost, host host entry 3

Noun (3)

Middle English hoste, oste "sacrificial offering, bread consecrated in the Eucharist," borrowed from Anglo-French hoste, hoiste, going back to Late Latin hostia "Eucharist," going back to Latin, "sacrificial animal," derivative from the base of hostīre "to recompense, requite," hostis "foreigner, stranger, enemy" — more at guest entry 1

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The first known use of host was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for host

host

noun
\ ˈhōst How to pronounce host (audio) \

Kids Definition of host

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a person who receives or entertains guests
2 : a living animal or plant on or in which a parasite lives

host

verb
hosted; hosting

Kids Definition of host (Entry 2 of 4)

: to serve as host to or at host friends hosting a party

host

noun

Kids Definition of host (Entry 3 of 4)

: multitude We faced a host of problems.

host

noun, often capitalized

Kids Definition of host (Entry 4 of 4)

: the bread used in Christian Communion

host

noun
\ ˈhōst How to pronounce host (audio) \

Medical Definition of host

1 : a living animal or plant on or in which a parasite lives — see definitive host, intermediate host
2 : the larger, stronger, or dominant one of a commensal or symbiotic pair
3a : an individual into which a tissue or part is transplanted from another
b : an individual in whom an abnormal growth (as a cancer) is proliferating

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More from Merriam-Webster on host

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with host

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for host

Spanish Central: Translation of host

Nglish: Translation of host for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of host for Arabic Speakers

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