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

According to the Houston Press, photographers were ushered out of the pit just prior to the show starting. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Marilyn Manson collapses on stage during live performance in Houston," 20 Aug. 2018 Several attendees noted black graduating students were more likely to experience the aggressive ushering off stage. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "UF president apologizes for 'aggressive' ushering during graduation," 7 May 2018 Golden State’s hope is that a return to high-stakes basketball, after grinding through a seemingly interminable regular season to get there, will usher this team back to its usual standards and thus back to its happy place. Marc Stein, New York Times, "Can Winning Become Rollicking Fun Again for the Warriors?," 13 Apr. 2018 In ushering a new wave of young talent, Smith has also championed a graduating class of customers in her own age bracket, who until recently (and likely still) were pillaging sample sales and fast fashion for their statement pieces. Tyler Joe, Harper's BAZAAR, "Tales in Retail: Introducing Fashion's Chicest New E-Tailer," 13 Dec. 2016 The very act of ushering life into this world seems to transform molecules, turning mere mortals into super humans. Alicia Harper, Redbook, "4 Life-Changing Mommy Super Powers," 2 Feb. 2012 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

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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Statistics for usher

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).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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