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

  • n. One who receives or entertains guests in a social or official capacity.
  • n. A person who manages an inn or hotel.
  • n. One that furnishes facilities and resources for a function or event: the city chosen as host for the Olympic Games.
  • n. The emcee or interviewer on a radio or television program.
  • n. Biology The animal or plant on which or in which another organism lives.
  • n. Medicine The recipient of a transplanted tissue or organ.
  • n. Computer Science A computer containing data or programs that another computer can access by means of a network or modem.
  • transitive v. Usage Problem To serve as host to or at: "the garden party he had hosted last spring” ( Saturday Review).
  • n. An army.
  • n. A great number; a multitude. See Synonyms at multitude.
  • n. Ecclesiastical The consecrated bread or wafer of the Eucharist.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who allows a guest, particularly into the host’s home.
  • n. A person or organization responsible for running an event.
  • n. A moderator or master of ceremonies for a performance.
  • n. Any computer attached to a network.
  • n. A computer or software component that provides services.
  • n. A cell or organism which harbors another organism or biological entity, usually a parasite.
  • n. An organism bearing certain genetic material.
  • n. Consecrated bread such as that used in the Christian ceremony of the Eucharist.
  • v. To perform the role of a host.
  • v. To lodge at an inn.
  • v. To run software made available to a remote user or process.
  • n. A multitude of people arrayed as an army; used also in religious senses, as: Heavenly host (of angels)
  • n. A large number of items; a large inventory.
  • n. The consecrated bread or wafer of the Eucharist.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The consecrated wafer, believed to be the body of Christ, which in the Mass is offered as a sacrifice; also, the bread before consecration.
  • n. An army; a number of men gathered for war.
  • n. Any great number or multitude; a throng.
  • n. One who receives or entertains another, whether gratuitously or for compensation; one from whom another receives food, lodging, or entertainment; a landlord.
  • n. Any animal or plant affording lodgment or subsistence to a parasitic or commensal organism. .
  • intransitive v. To lodge at an inn; to take up entertainment.
  • transitive v. To give entertainment to.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To assemble or move as an army.
  • To lodge, as at an inn; receive entertainment; be a guest.
  • To give entertainment to; receive as a guest.
  • To administer the sacrament to.
  • n. An army; a multitude of men organized for war.
  • n. Any great number or multitude.
  • n. One who receives and entertains another in his own house, whether gratuitously or for pay; an entertainer; specifically, the landlord of a public house or inn: the correlative of guest.
  • n. An animal or a plant in relation to a parasite habitually dwelling in or upon it. The correlative term, in either case, is guest. See commensal, guest, inquiline, parasite, hyperparasite.
  • n. In zoölogy the term is a very general and comprehensive one, since almost all animals are infested, or liable to infestation, by parasites of some kind; and some parasites are themselves hosts of others.
  • n. In mineralogy, a mineral which incloses another.
  • n. One who is entertained by another as his guest; a guest.
  • n. An inn; a lodging.
  • n. An offering; a sacrifice.
  • n. In the Western Ch.: The sacramental victim in the eucharist; Christ offered under the species of bread and wine, or under either species separately.
  • n. One of the pieces of bread used for consecration in the mass or eucharist; au altar-bread, oblate, or wafer.
  • n. Same as hoast.

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

  • n. a vast multitude
  • v. be the host of or for
  • n. an animal or plant that nourishes and supports a parasite; it does not benefit and is often harmed by the association
  • n. the owner or manager of an inn
  • n. (computer science) a computer that provides client stations with access to files and printers as shared resources to a computer network
  • n. (medicine) recipient of transplanted tissue or organ from a donor
  • n. any organization that provides resources and facilities for a function or event
  • n. a person who acts as host at formal occasions (makes an introductory speech and introduces other speakers)
  • n. archaic terms for army
  • n. a person who invites guests to a social event (such as a party in his or her own home) and who is responsible for them while they are there
  • n. a technical name for the bread used in the service of Mass or Holy Communion


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

Middle English, host, guest, from Old French, from Latin hospes, hospit-.
Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin hostis, from Latin, enemy.
Middle English, from Latin hostia, sacrifice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French oste (French: hôte), from Middle Latin hospitem, accusative of hospes ("a host, also a sourjourner, visitor, guest; hence, a foreigner, a stranger"), probably contr. of originally *hostipes, from hostis ("a stranger") + -pes. Used in English since 13th Century.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French hoste, from Middle Latin hostis ("foreign enemy") (as opposed to inimicus ("personal enemy")), cognate with etymology 1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English also oist, ost, from Old French hoiste, from Latin hostia ("sacrificial victim").



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  • guest and host (and also hostile, hospice, hospital and hospitable ) are from the same Indo-European root, ghos-ti- , a stranger or 'someone with whom one has reciprocal duties of hospitality.'

    Can it get much stranger? Give the outside a ghost (ghost is derived from the IE root gheis- - spirit, breathe) of a chance!

    March 4, 2013

  • Host is the Czech word for guest according to

    March 4, 2013

  • Contranymic in the sense of an individual vs. a multitude.

    March 2, 2007