1 of 2


: one that leads or directs another's way
needed a guide for the safari
: a person who exhibits and explains points of interest
The museum guide was very helpful.
: something that provides a person with guiding information
used the stars as a guide to find their way back
: a person who directs another's conduct or course of life
He was my mentor and guide during the early years of my career.
: a device for steadying or directing the motion of something
The jigsaw was equipped with a guide.
: a ring or loop for holding the line of a fishing rod in position
: a sheet or a card with projecting tab for labeling inserted in a card index to facilitate reference
: a member of a unit on whom the movements or alignments of a military command are regulated
used especially in commands
guide right


2 of 2


guided; guiding

transitive verb

: to act as a guide to : direct in a way or course
He guided us around the city.
: to direct, supervise, or influence usually to a particular end
You'll need a lawyer to guide you through the legal system.
: to superintend the training or instruction of
A respected educator guided his studies.

intransitive verb

: to act or work as a guide
guider noun
Choose the Right Synonym for guide

guide, lead, steer, pilot, engineer mean to direct in a course or show the way to be followed.

guide implies intimate knowledge of the way and of all its difficulties and dangers.

guided the scouts through the cave

lead implies showing the way and often keeping those that follow under control and in order.

led his team to victory

steer implies an ability to keep to a course and stresses the capacity of maneuvering correctly.

steered the ship through a narrow channel

pilot suggests guidance over a dangerous or complicated course.

piloted the bill through the Senate

engineer implies finding ways to avoid or overcome difficulties in achieving an end or carrying out a plan.

engineered his son's election to the governorship

Example Sentences

Noun We hired a guide for our trip to the mountains. He was my friend and my guide in the early years of my career. They used the stars as a guide to find their way back. If past experience is any guide, we're in for a long and difficult project. Verb He guided us around the city. He claims that there were unknown forces guiding the outcome of the election. He carefully guided the ship into the harbor. She guided her team to victory. Let your conscience guide you. Her example helped to guide me toward a career in medicine. In his work, he has always been guided by a desire to help other people. programs to help guide teenagers away from drug use She had a guiding influence on my decision. His guiding principle when he built his house was that bigger was better. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
For more sharpening options and some tips for how to put the best edge on your new knives, check out this guide from Epicurious on how to sharpen a knife the right way. Scott Gilbertson, WIRED, 14 Jan. 2023 Check out our guide to Super Bowl party games for fans of all ages, as well as Super Bowl party decorating ideas to take your game-day bash to the next level. Alesandra Dubin, Woman's Day, 13 Jan. 2023 For more meal prepping tips, check out our meal prep guide for beginners. Good Housekeeping, 13 Jan. 2023 Additionally, check out this handy beach parking permit guide. Robin Soslow, Chron, 11 Jan. 2023 Check out our comprehensive guide that explains the most significant new laws affecting the environment, healthcare, housing, criminal justice and more. Laurel Rosenhall, Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2023 For tips on how to survive the madness, check out this handy guide from The Washington Post. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 23 Dec. 2022 Check out our Venetian plaster guide for more information on how to achieve a similar look. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 22 Dec. 2022 Check out our guide to the best appetite suppressants for more information. Dallas News, 22 Dec. 2022
This step is all about developing a set of values that will guide your efforts. Chris Kille, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 Its universe and the rules that guide it are painted in broad, dream-logic strokes, while its metaphors are sometimes made luridly, explicitly literal. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Jan. 2023 Sincerity and unity are the values that should guide creation, not the bottom line. José Criales-unzueta, Vogue, 3 Jan. 2023 With helpful animations that visually guide you through the sessions, Headspace has made meditation approachable and accessible. Kasandra Brabaw, Fortune, 28 Dec. 2022 But, in other countries, that category also includes family and friends, thanks to the cultural norms that guide the viewing, touching and treatment of the dead. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 28 Dec. 2022 Olsson, a consulting firm, has been tasked with collecting information that will guide the city in developing its downtown area. Alexandra Hardle, The Arizona Republic, 24 Dec. 2022 Different types of property ownership reflect different goals and principles that guide governance, whether the point of property is access for everyone, preservation, or collective governance, itself. Time, 19 Dec. 2022 Cleverly there was no attempt to hide the shrewdness and the baser instincts that guide this cook, and Fisher was all the more delicious to watch for that. Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel, 16 Dec. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guide.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Noun and Verb

Middle English gide, guide, from Anglo-French, from Old Occitan guida, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English wītan to look after, witan to know — more at wit

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of guide was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near guide

Cite this Entry

“Guide.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: one that leads or directs another on a course
: a person who shows and explains points of interest (as on a tour)
: something that provides guiding information
a street guide
: a device for steadying or directing the motion of something


2 of 2 verb
guided; guiding
: to act as a guide : conduct
guide a group on a tour
: manage sense 1, direct
guide a boat through the rapids

Medical Definition


: a grooved director for a surgical probe or knife

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