host·ess | \ˈhō-stəs \

Definition of hostess 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a woman who entertains socially

2a : a woman in charge of a public dining room who seats diners

b : a female employee on a public conveyance (such as an airplane) who manages the provisioning of food and attends passengers

c : a woman who acts as a partner or companion to male patrons in a dance hall or bar


hostessed; hostessing; hostesses

Definition of hostess (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to act as hostess

transitive verb

: to serve as hostess to

Examples of hostess in a Sentence


We were greeted by our hostess. She's the hostess of a popular talk show.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Barry The hostess walked me straight (pun intended) to him. Melissa Schorr,, "Blind date: ‘Chemistry often isn’t instant (unless the other party has toned arms)’," 15 June 2018 Teri Goudie is a head writer of the spoof, and is the hostess of the June 27 meet-the-author event. Sara Clarkson,, "Clarkson: Susan Byrne’s short stories concern women, village in familiar fictional town," 14 June 2018 Bring this checkered towel from MacKenzie-Childs as a host or hostess gift. The Editors, The Cut, "41 Things on Sale You’ll Actually Want to Buy: From Miu Miu to Missoni," 13 July 2018 Today, the beloved hostess is development director at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. Kara Baskin,, "Getting Salty with Mary-Catherine Deibel," 18 June 2018 This year, however, the hostess may just have provided the evening’s most talked-about moment. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "What Is Fashion Without Naomi Campbell?," 14 May 2018 The evening's hostess was Rihanna and the occasion was the Savage X Fenty party. Alexa Tietjen | Wwd,, "Rihanna toasts new Savage X Fenty lingerie collection during N.Y. party," 11 May 2018 For dessert, Elizabeth offered an insider tip to her most discerning guests; in addition to the Meukow V.S.O.P. Superior Cognac offered with the bananas foster, the ever-charming hostess provided rounds of port upon request. Amber Elliott, Houston Chronicle, "The show must go on: Houston Symphony's annual Wine Dinner and Collector's Auction restores order," 29 Jan. 2018 In October, when the average hostess with the mostess first starts planning a perfect Thanksgiving table, introducing wine pairings to the mix sounds like a great idea. Becca Endicott, ELLE Decor, "Thanksgiving Wine Pairings — A Complete Guide," 14 Nov. 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1927, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

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Statistics for hostess

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hostess

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

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More Definitions for hostess



English Language Learners Definition of hostess

: a woman who is entertaining guests socially or as a job

: a woman whose job it is to greet and help people in a restaurant or on an airplane or ship

: a woman who talks to guests on a television or radio show


host·ess | \ˈhō-stəs \

Kids Definition of hostess

: a woman who receives or entertains guests

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More from Merriam-Webster on hostess

Spanish Central: Translation of hostess

Nglish: Translation of hostess for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hostess for Arabic Speakers

Comments on hostess

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