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

Tom even politely introduced himself to his host and hostess with his Bic pen and reporter’s pad in plain view. Gail Sheehy, The Cut, "What Tom Wolfe Taught Me About Reporting," 18 May 2018 Think vanity-table staple—or the perfect last-minute hostess gift. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "5 Foolproof Hair Products for a Festive Night Out," 18 Nov. 2018 Treat yourself to your favorite scent, or stock up and pass them out as hostess gifts this holiday season. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "The 2018 Yankee Candle Christmas Scents Have Arrived and We Are So Ready," 5 Oct. 2018 The party with hostess Dixie Lynn Cartwright kicks off at 9 p.m., featuring green frozen drinks, glow sticks and giveaways. Hannah Steinkopf-frank, RedEye Chicago, "How to celebrate a queer St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago," 15 Mar. 2018 There’s also a Nantucket-meets-Italy inspired set of notecards embellished with pale pink climbing roses and friendly summer butterflies, perfectly suited for hostess thank-yous. Katie Kiefner, Vogue, "Send All of Your Summer Thank You Notes on This Stunning Stationery," 10 July 2018 For her parts, the Countess kept the show going in old-school hostess form. Beth Spotswood,, "‘Real Housewives’ star Luann de Lesseps is a cabaret queen at the Nikko," 26 June 2018 Interior designer and consummate hostess Charlotte Moss swoops in with her high-level, yet low-key book Charlotte Moss Entertains: Celebrations and Everyday Occasions. Olivia Martin, Town & Country, "Interior Designer Charlotte Moss Shares Her Secrets to Summer Entertaining," 7 June 2018 In the design, some of the hotel’s Canadian nods might be so subtle as to appear invisible to the naked eye (like an oval hostess stand in the shape of Lake Ontario), but in the restaurants, Canadian tastes leap out as distinct. New York Times, "An Ottawa Hotel Is an Ode to Canada," 2 June 2018

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

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hostess

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

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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

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