from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One who is a recipient of hospitality at the home or table of another.
  • noun One to whom entertainment or hospitality has been extended by another in the role of host or hostess, as at a party.
  • noun One who pays for meals or accommodations at a restaurant, hotel, or other establishment; a patron.
  • noun A distinguished visitor to whom the hospitality of an institution, city, or government is extended.
  • noun A visiting performer, speaker, or contestant, as on a radio or television program.
  • noun Zoology A commensal organism, especially an insect that lives in the nest or burrow of another species.
  • intransitive verb To entertain as a guest.
  • intransitive verb To appear as a guest.
  • adjective Provided for guests.
  • adjective Participating as a guest.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A stranger; a foreigner.
  • noun A person received into one's house or at one's table out of friendship or courtesy; a person entertained gratuitously; a visitor sojourning in the house of, or entertained at table by, another.
  • noun A person entertained for pay, as at an inn or in a boarding-house; a boarder or lodger.
  • noun In zoology, a parasite: as, “a dozen tapeworm guests,” Cobbold.
  • To entertain as a guest; receive with hospitality.
  • To act the part of a guest; be a guest.
  • noun A dialectal variant of ghost. Brockett. Compare larguest.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To be, or act the part of, a guest.
  • transitive verb obsolete To receive or entertain hospitably.
  • noun A visitor; a person received and entertained in one's house or at one's table; a visitor entertained without pay.
  • noun A lodger or a boarder at a hotel, lodging house, or boarding house.
  • noun Any insect that lives in the nest of another without compulsion and usually not as a parasite.
  • noun An inquiline.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a recipient of hospitality, specifically someone staying by invitation at the house of another
  • noun a patron or customer in a hotel etc.
  • noun an invited visitor or performer to an institution or to a broadcast
  • verb intransitive to appear as a guest, especially on a broadcast
  • verb intransitive as a musician, to play as a guest, providing an instrument that a band/orchestra does not normally have in its line up (for instance, percussion in a string band)

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun United States journalist (born in England) noted for his syndicated homey verse (1881-1959)
  • noun (computer science) any computer that is hooked up to a computer network
  • noun a visitor to whom hospitality is extended
  • noun a customer of a hotel or restaurant etc.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English gest, from Old Norse gestr; see ghos-ti- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English gest, from Old Norse gestr, replacing Old English ġiest.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word guest.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • See comment under host.

    March 4, 2013