host·​ess | \ ˈhō-stəs How to pronounce hostess (audio) \

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

Noun We were greeted by our hostess. She's the hostess of a popular talk show.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For the constant hostess: These adorable dip bowls For anyone who loves to host a good shindig, dip is essential. Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "20 weird but practical gifts people will actually use," 12 Dec. 2019 In sixty more minutes, said the all-knowing hostess at Nami Nori. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "Nami Nori’s Hand Rolls Are Worth the Wait," 8 Nov. 2019 Fans can become a hostess, throwing shopping parties for their friends (and earning product for it), or an ambassador, sharing and selling Stella & Dot pieces to make a commission. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What I Wear to Work: Jessica Herrin, Founder and CEO of Stella & Dot," 16 Dec. 2019 Given that the reader held up his end of the bargain and hit his mark, the digs from the hostess were unwarranted. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Does the lack of linens in restaurants present a food-safety issue?," 24 July 2019 The hostess is often left with the rejects: broken cookies and lots of crumbs. oregonlive, "Oregon families celebrate the holidays at home with well-loved traditions," 18 Dec. 2019 Instead, gift the hostess with the mostess this popular cheese plate, which was one of The Knot's top wedding registry picks this year. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "21 things you need to buy before Thanksgiving," 13 Nov. 2019 Back in the dining room, the hostess runs up to Simone (Caitlin FitzGerald) to talk about the next night’s reservations., "Sweetbitter Episode 3: The Big Decision," 21 May 2018 Like any good hostess would, be sure to introduce your guests, says Porter. Brigitt Earley, Good Housekeeping, "8 Smart Ideas For a Holiday Potluck with Friends," 6 Dec. 2019

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

History and Etymology for hostess


Middle English hostesse, ostesse "woman who receives guests, female innkeeper," borrowed from Anglo-French, from oste, hoste "host, guest" + -esse -ess — more at host entry 3


derivative of hostess entry 1

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Time Traveler for hostess

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for hostess

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hostess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce hostess (audio)

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 How to pronounce hostess (audio) \

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

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