play host to

idiomatic phrase

: to serve as a host for (someone or something)
Each year, the city plays host to the film festival for one week.
As travel to the Third World has expanded, so, too, has concern about the damage wrought by mass tourism on the people and places that play host to wandering North Americans and Europeans.Ira Silver
St. John's meets No. 3-ranked Duke and the Big East rival Miami on the road, and will play host to No. 4 Syracuse, No. 13 Connecticut and surging Seton Hall at the Garden.Jon Drape
The grasslands play host to [=provide a home for] long-billed curlews and sage grouse, and eagles, osprey and coyotes scavenge the area.Kay Clark

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Playing their third match in eight days, the Portland Timbers (3-5-3, 12 points) play host to their Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps (3-2-5, 14 points). oregonlive, 13 May 2023 Certainly, many properties around the world play host to some incredible restaurants and offer fascinating cultural experiences, but those should be supplements to getting out and exploring the destination. Lindsay Cohn, Travel + Leisure, 3 May 2023 The Katara Towers, the near-circular building modeled on the scimitar swords that make up Qatar’s emblem, play host to two luxury hotels, the Fairmont Doha and the all-suite Raffles Doha, the country’s first six-star hotel. Ulrike Lemmin-woolfrey, CNN, 24 Apr. 2023 Katz compares it to the dissimilarities between natural ecosystems like a rainforest versus a desert, swamp, or lake: All of them play host to their own singular species. Fiorella Valdesolo, Vogue, 24 Mar. 2023 The Knights will play host to Sierra Canyon on Saturday. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2023 Milwaukee will play host to a showdown atop the Horizon when Youngstown State comes to town Saturday. Journal Sentinel, 20 Jan. 2023 Right after that, the Bears will play host to No. 2 Kansas. Dallas News, 17 Jan. 2023 Louisville will also play host to a rematch of last year's final when San Antonio FC visits April 15. The Courier-Journal, 9 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'play host to.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1837, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of play host to was in 1837

Cite this Entry

“Play host to.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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