ush·​er | \ˈə-shər \

Definition of usher 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an officer or servant who has the care of the door of a court, hall, or chamber

b : an officer who walks before a person of rank

c : one who escorts persons to their seats (as in a theater)

2 archaic : an assistant teacher


ushered; ushering\ ˈə-​sh(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of usher (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to conduct to a place

2 : to precede as an usher, forerunner, or harbinger

3 : to cause to enter : introduce a new theory ushered into the world

intransitive verb

: to serve as an usher usher at a wedding

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Synonyms & Antonyms for usher

Synonyms: Verb

conduct, direct, guide, lead, marshal (also marshall), pilot, route, show, steer

Antonyms: Verb

follow, trail

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Examples of usher in a Sentence


He ushered them to their seats. A nurse ushered us into the hospital room.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

When the hold's over, the usher will take you to your seat. Grant Segall,, "Indians reliever Andrew Miller loves town, wants to stay: My Cleveland (photos)," 25 Mar. 2018 During broadcasts, a steady stream of spectators sidestep the solicitous ushers and climb the stairs to where Weir, Lipinski and their other broadcasting partner, Terry Gannon, are perched and surreptitiously snap their photographs. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "What’s Inside Johnny Weir’s Hotel Room at the Olympics," 16 Feb. 2018 Candidates will be interviewed at the Wisconsin Center convention hall for positions including ushers, ticket takers, security and guest services. James B. Nelson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Wisconsin nice' encouraged to apply for jobs at Bucks' new arena," 8 June 2018 The saga around Moore’s case prompted difficult conversations with her husband, a white usher, and other friends who are active there. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "Prominent progressive D.C. church, accused of racism, tries to move on," 10 July 2018 As graduation season ushers forth future leaders, a spiritual ceremony honored two new family doctors trained in Seattle. Bettina Hansen, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Indian Health Board’s residency program celebrates its graduates," 30 June 2018 She was met by three people on a boat, who happened to be an usher for FACE and her husband and son. Lindsay Peyton, Houston Chronicle, "Cypress Creek arts group continues its mission after Harvey," 6 June 2018 Prince William and Kate both attended the nuptials, with Will serving as an usher. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Who Is Prince Louis's Godfather, Nicholas van Cutsem?," 9 July 2018 As a boy, Donald worked as an usher at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Donald Brinckman Found a Grubby Business and Turned It Into a Wall Street Darling," 30 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Stirring appeals helped usher the US into the Spanish-American War, rallied volunteers to the slaughters of World War I, and – reignited by Pearl Harbor – produced long lines at enlistment offices for World War II. Doug Struck, The Christian Science Monitor, "As Americans celebrate Independence Day, what does it mean to be a patriot?," 2 July 2018 James Madison, whose views on religious liberty aligned with Jefferson’s, helped usher the Virginia bill to final passage. Elahe Izadi, Washington Post, "Thomas Jefferson and the long history of defending Muslim rights," 26 June 2018 Data scientists, who have already helped usher media companies, retailers and other old-line industries into the digital age, first arrived at Wall Street banks decades ago as computing power and the complexity of derivatives surged. Justin Baer, WSJ, "The Arms Race for Quants Comes to the World’s Biggest Asset Managers," 21 June 2018 The waft of cigarette smoke and hint of manure in Santa Rosa air usher me back into the restaurant. Hartford Courant,, "The Poems Of Aaron Caycedo-Kimura: Honoring Ones Parents," 13 June 2018 Wild was selected as a replacement for Tony Hadley after the longtime frontman departed the band last year, and is helping to usher the famed '80s musicians into a new era. Emily Zemler, Billboard, "Spandau Ballet Debuts New Singer In London: 'This Is a Rebirth of the Band'," 7 June 2018 The university and Deerfield Management, based in New York City, are launching Lakeside Discovery to help usher potential drugs to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval for human testing. Lisa Schencker,, "Northwestern enters $65 million partnership to create new drugs," 31 May 2018 Meanwhile, older children ushered the younger ones toward the back of the bus. Pauline Repard,, "Campo man pleads not guilty to school bus assault, attempted kidnapping," 31 May 2018 Just a few days after attending Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding, where Kate helped usher the 10 bridesmaids and page boys into the church, the Duchess released a letter and sweet family anecdote in support of children's hospice care. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Reveals the Moments She Cherishes the Most As a Mother," 23 May 2018

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1588, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for usher


Middle English ussher, from Anglo-French ussier, usscher, from Vulgar Latin *ustiarius doorkeeper, from Latin ostium, ustium door, mouth of a river — more at ostium

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Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for usher

The first known use of usher was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for usher



English Language Learners Definition of usher

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who leads people to their seats in a theater, at a wedding, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of usher (Entry 2 of 2)

: to lead (someone) to a place


ush·​er | \ˈə-shər \

Kids Definition of usher

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who shows people to seats (as in a theater, at a game, or at a wedding)


ushered; ushering

Kids Definition of usher (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to show or be shown to a place He was ushered into the nurse's office.

2 : to come before as if to lead in or announce We had a party to usher in the new year.

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Comments on usher

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


playful or foolish behavior

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