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 Here's a secret that a Southern hostess might be uninclined to admit: Boxed cake can be great. Zoe Denenberg, Southern Living, "How To Frost a Cake like a Professional," 18 Mar. 2021 Kitselman was born in 1926 in Ohio, working in a factory to pay for college before being named runner-up in a Miss Ohio contest and embarking on a career as an airline hostess. Washington Post, "She died of coronavirus at 94, but a commitment to community service lives on," 17 Mar. 2021 Virginia Ramirez, a hostess at Belgian Waffle Works in Lake Arrowhead, said the dining room of the popular family restaurant was slammed Sunday morning. Los Angeles Times, "Welcome back: Restaurants, movie theaters, gyms reopen in L.A. County today," 15 Mar. 2021 For one restaurant along Daytona Beach's Main Street, Cruisin Cafe, business has already doubled this week, hostess Teresa Herzberg told ABC News on Tuesday. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, "Hurting Daytona Beach businesses glad to see thousands gather for Bike Week," 9 Mar. 2021 Ro Hart, an assistant general manager and hostess at Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco, said the return of indoor dining in the city provoked a mixture of joy and anxiety. CBS News, "Workers worry for their safety as more states lift mask mandates," 8 Mar. 2021 Restaurant hostess Veronica Singh said the restaurant would open four indoor tables on Thursday and allow 12 diners to sit at them. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, "The view from inside: What S.F.'s first day in the red tier looked like," 3 Mar. 2021 After graduating from Parsons School of Design in New York in 2005, Adeigbo worked as a fashion assistant at W Magazine by day and as a hostess at night. Lindzi Scharf, Los Angeles Times, "She dresses Amanda Gorman and Kerry Washington. Here’s how Autumn Adeigbo styles herself," 17 Mar. 2021 Rather than purchasing expensive vessels to hold the arrangements, the hostess encourages friends to bring their own Easter baskets. Betsy Cribb, Southern Living, "An Easter Gathering in the Garden," 16 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hostess

Time Traveler for hostess

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for hostess

Last Updated

10 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hostess.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce hostess (audio) \

Kids Definition of hostess

: a woman who receives or entertains guests

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on hostess

What made you want to look up hostess? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!