Definition of guest in English:



  • 1A person who is invited to visit someone's home or attend a particular social occasion.

    ‘I have two guests coming to dinner tonight’
    [as modifier] ‘the guest list’
    • ‘On special occasions or when guests are visiting, the Vietnamese serve rice wine, beer, soft drinks, or coffee.’
    • ‘On one occasion the distinguished guests gathered with him round the table were excited at the prospect of hearing some new and sparkling aphorism fall from his lips.’
    • ‘I would never knowingly offend a guest at such an occasion and Stephen, quite rightly, felt he could not allow my marks to pass without mounting a spirited defence of his organisation.’
    • ‘On some occasions the guest lists have appeared wilfully eclectic.’
    • ‘His mother and sister visited Ireland as guests of the State and travelled from Kerry to Letitia's native Maynooth, Co Kildare.’
    • ‘KT would sleep in the guest bedroom when she visited.’
    • ‘The guests present on the occasion tried to resolve the dispute amicably but all the efforts to motivate the groom proved futile, the eyewitnesses said.’
    • ‘The association would be pleased to hear from anyone who feels able to host guests over the three-night visit.’
    • ‘My grandmother did attend, appropriately corsaged, and we have photos of her sitting in one of the plastic chairs graciously visiting with guests.’
    • ‘The pet monkey was an occasional guest at dinner parties.’
    • ‘Some unexpected guests paid a visit to Tramore on Monday.’
    • ‘The trio is supplemented by visits from numerous eclectic guests.’
    • ‘They would sing, dance, and even strip naked at social occasions to provoke distinguished guests into offering donations.’
    • ‘Fried chicken, however much touted as the southern dish, was a food reserved for Sunday dinner guests and special occasions.’
    • ‘The school's hall was decorated with balloons for the occasion and the guests all enjoyed a buffet and drinks.’
    • ‘The sun shone brightly for the entire afternoon and the guests thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.’
    • ‘When he is using the studio, guests are invited to visit him and watch him work.’
    • ‘When guests visit you, it is polite to welcome them with kind words and serve them what you have.’
    • ‘Ticket holders wishing to bring a friend will receive three vouchers that invite a guest to attend a B grade game for only £5!’
    • ‘Try out the Orange Kiss Me Cake for a special occasion for extra special guests.’
    visitor, caller
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A person invited to participate in an official event.
      ‘he was in Warsaw as a guest of the Polish government’
      [as modifier] ‘a guest speaker’
      • ‘Former Leeds United legend Norman Hunter is the guest speaker at the event, with tickets priced at £32.’
      • ‘A guest speaker at each event will deliver multi-disciplinary, non-technical presentations.’
      • ‘He was guest speaker at the event and entertained the guests with his witty repartee.’
      • ‘A lot of companies invite me to be a guest speaker at conferences to motivate their staff.’
      • ‘At each meeting, the club invites a guest speaker.’
      • ‘Mr Noel Dempsey, Minister for Education and Science will be will be the guest speaker at the event.’
      • ‘In addition, the event will feature guest speakers that will address different aspects of fair trade.’
      • ‘The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., will have several events with guest speakers and a commemoration ceremony.’
      • ‘Drama classes, day trips, fundraising events and guest speakers are also planned for next year.’
      • ‘How is it that when an organization that is supported by student funding has a speaker come there is a cost, but when a poorly funded club or group on campus invites a guest speaker to speak there usually isn't a fee?’
      • ‘There will also be a guest speaker at each event to talk about a specific topic of local interest.’
      • ‘The committee, in order to make these monthly meetings more interesting to our members, have invited a guest speaker to be in attendance after each monthly meeting.’
      • ‘I'm not sure if there was any comment, by him or by anyone else, but we were actually supposed to be directing our attention to a guest speaker who was invited to our class to talk about farming.’
      • ‘The Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov, who was due to arrive on an official visit to Bulgaria yesterday, has also been invited by Sofianski as an official guest at the ceremonies.’
      • ‘In this article it turns out that he went off on another tirade against the black community recently at a conference he was invited to be the guest speaker.’
      • ‘A talented trio of sisters making a name for themselves in the world of animation are among the guest speakers at an event aimed at firing the imagination of young would-be entrepreneurs.’
      • ‘The event will include guest speakers, aboriginal singers and a candlelight vigil.’
      • ‘Jacinta Lawlor, a Group Pensions Account Manager with Bank of Ireland Life, will be guest speaker for the event.’
      • ‘Later that evening she will launch the festival and will be guest speaker at an event hosted by the heritage office of Carlow County Council.’
      • ‘They invited a guest speaker, a member of a nearby police department's SWAT team.’
    2. 1.2A person invited to take part in a radio or television programme or other entertainment.
      ‘a regular guest on the morning show’
      • ‘The radio studios will be able to accommodate three guests at a time and up to four studios can broadcast to the UK simultaneously.’
      • ‘It also offers an easily accessible interview facility for radio and television guests.’
      • ‘It has a superficial historical accuracy, but the characters talk like daytime television guests rather than major political figures.’
      • ‘He recently completed a 60-date UK stage tour, and is a regular guest on radio and television.’
      • ‘There will be plenty of live guests on the programme, with lively opinions on offer.’
      • ‘He's a regular guest on many different talk shows in the US.’
      • ‘As a broadcaster, he also gets books signed by his radio guests when he can.’
      • ‘He admits that he enjoys analysing India's cricket performance with regular guests on the programme.’
      • ‘Now sex workers regularly appear on television programs as guests and meet with government ministers.’
      • ‘He can even be heard regularly on the radio airwaves as a guest.’
      • ‘You are the guest of an Asian presenter on a multi-cultural radio programme.’
      • ‘The other night on your radio program, your guest noted that you perform a very important public service by disseminating information of this type.’
      • ‘In addition to writing on the subject of school choice, Merrifield is a frequent guest on television and radio programs in which the issue is discussed and debated.’
      • ‘His books and films earned him a following among naive romantics, and he became a guest on national television shows.’
      • ‘You also can hear him as a guest on Sporting News Radio.’
      • ‘Radio and television talk shows remain popular as guests and listeners continue the search for success.’
      • ‘The other two guests on the program were a famous crosstalk comedian, and a urologist.’
      • ‘He seems to be a regular guest on some BBC radio programmes on environmental matters, so he is not an ivory tower scribbler.’
      • ‘She has appeared as a military consultant for NBC and CNN and as a guest on several television programs.’
      • ‘It was the most uncivil exchange I've ever heard on a talk radio show between a host and a regular guest.’
  • 2A person staying at a hotel or guest house.

    ‘a reduction for guests staying seven nights or more’
    • ‘No apartments were available and most hotels permitted a guest to stay only 5 days.’
    • ‘If a guest should stay eight times at any Oberoi Hotel, they are entitled to a complimentary stay for two nights at an Oberoi Resort.’
    • ‘The first step is to estimate an occupancy rate or the number of nights a year you can reasonably expect guests to stay in your establishment.’
    • ‘While short-term tenants will pay more, guests staying for a minimum of six months are being offered discounts of up to 40 per cent.’
    • ‘A throng of cheering fans gathered outside for hours just to catch a glimpse of their hero and 60 guests stayed at the hotel overnight to see him.’
    • ‘Others pointed out one of the buildings close to the first attack is a hotel - what about guests who were staying for the long Labor Day weekend?’
    • ‘In a special drive to embrace digital photography and printing, Hewlett-Packard is giving hotel guests free use of its digital cameras during their stay.’
    • ‘The roof had a couple holes in it, and the useable rooms for guests to stay in totaled six, after you took away the rooms designated for the staff.’
    • ‘The Myrtles is now a bed and breakfast, so guests can stay in these rooms and see if the ghosts come out and play.’
    • ‘A team of professionals cook, clean and cater for guests during their stay.’
    • ‘A surge in the number of foreign guests staying in Japanese hotels has pushed up occupancy rates at leading hotels and bolstered their bottom lines.’
    • ‘However, he had infected his brother-in-law, two nurses in the hospital, and seven guests who had stayed on the same floor of the hotel.’
    • ‘That program is expected to replace the current free-room-night reward when guests stay nine nights.’
    • ‘Weekends, she says, are mostly booked by guests staying in the hotel and the regular clientele tend to have their appointments during the week.’
    • ‘But don't sweat it - a number of hotels loan out the popular digital music devices to guests during their stay.’
    • ‘The Diana Group has contracted with Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital to provide quality care to guests staying at the resort.’
    • ‘The idea was to get a better understanding of exactly what guests did during their stay.’
    • ‘Le Terrace, as the hotel is also called, already has 120-130 guests staying in it including about 15 from overseas.’
    • ‘However, local managers refused to say how many people had been leaving early because of the outbreak and how many guests were staying in the hotel.’
    • ‘In 40% of these cases, there is unintentional overbooking because guests have extended their stay.’
    patron, client, person staying
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1US A customer at a restaurant.
      • ‘There were about five guests in the restaurant, which much looked like a camping cafeteria to me, and three of them were ready to leave, leaving behind wrappers of chocolate bars.’
      • ‘Describing how he built up his wealth through saving and making investments, he said he often did not use his subsistence allowances because he ate meals as a guest of restaurants.’
      • ‘It offers entertainment, displays and behind the scenes tours as well as a casual bar area and a separate seated restaurant for guests.’
      • ‘Waiters are instructed not to interrupt conversations - between dining guests or between a customer and someone on the phone.’
      • ‘It will cover pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage to hotel and restaurant guests, customers and visitors.’
      • ‘Consecutively, the images of his present popped back into place: trees, restaurant guests, tables, and lastly, a worried looking Finn.’
      • ‘My Husband had come as one of the guests from the restaurant they both worked at.’
      • ‘The restaurant will cater to guests on ‘first come first serve’ basis.’
      • ‘Or, start them off with more familiar foods: some pizza restaurants allow young guests to add their own toppings.’
      • ‘Overall, Home Steak was a pleasant experience and the waiters' obvious familiarity with many of their guests confirmed that this restaurant is a place to go back to.’
      • ‘The restaurant guests seem to be a lot of older foreign tourists, so the atmosphere is a little stilted.’
      • ‘And then I thought, but the true stars are this restaurant's fine guests - you, mes amis.’
      • ‘Most restaurants cater to guests, but the idea of making sure employees are happy, too, is a rather unique concept.’
      • ‘I was fortunate enough to dine as a guest of the restaurant and therefore etiquette demands that I don't review the meal.’
      • ‘Our foursome took a corner of the huge table of guests at a Korean restaurant on the Holloway Road, just a stagger from Highbury and Islington Station.’
      • ‘We tried to figure out what circumstance would warrant a restaurant guest standing on a toilet seat.’
      • ‘The waiter at the hotel applied this simple wisdom to enhance not only the experience of savoring the delicacy but also the quality of service for the restaurant guests.’
      • ‘The pair, Lee Kane and Mary Davenporf, bop around the restaurant, serving guests in casual clothes, while welcoming people with open smiles.’
      • ‘Professional magicians could be spotted these days at beach resorts and posh restaurants regaling guests awaiting their food.’
      • ‘Tunes from Broadway musicals from that period gently resonate in the restaurant and transport guests back across the Pacific into the New York of the last century.’
  • 3Biology
    A small invertebrate that lives unharmed within an ants' nest.

    • ‘Usually you can sit beside the trails of army ants and watch for guests as the line goes by.’
    • ‘All ant guests have to avoid being eaten by their hosts.’
    • ‘That diversity and beauty has fueled Rettenmeyer's lifelong passion for army ant guests.’


[NO OBJECT]informal
  • Appear as a temporary or visiting performer or participant in a television or radio programme or other entertainment.

    ‘he guested on the show two weeks ago’
    • ‘Norah Jones, guesting in her unknown, pre-Grammy days, drops by to croon I Walk the Line and a soporific Tennessee Waltz.’
    • ‘A fan since the age of 14, he finally met Dave Brock in 2003 after inviting him to guest on his LBC radio show.’
    • ‘He has guested on records by Sting, George Michael and Carmel and played with jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Evans, Clark Terry and Quincy Jones.’
    • ‘Maz Murray is an excellent female vocalist who guests on the show.’
    • ‘Peter Cook was invited to guest on the programme on the strength of the notorious Derek and Clive recordings, which shared with punk a kind of adolescent, deliberately puerile nihilism.’
    • ‘John had guested on the hit Lola and hung on until a surprise second coming in 1975 when the album Soap Opera and the single Everyone's a Star rekindled their earlier American success.’
    • ‘Mac is also a helluva nice guy as I found out when he and I guested on Paul Harris's radio show last year in Vegas - and he's clever, too.’
    • ‘Back in 1999 they were signed to Virgin and label-mates Gomez guested on their album.’
    • ‘Donnie was guesting in one of my Wilderness Walks television programmes and despite the fact he had performed a song called Nightfall on Marsco he had never actually climbed the hill.’
    • ‘By 1988 she was guesting on national television's New Year's Eve national lottery, run by the Finanza, the same tax authorities that last week put her in handcuffs.’
    • ‘This week I was supposed to be guesting on the blog of some friends, as well as replying to a growing pile of e-mails, paying bills and other.’
    • ‘His first break came when he guested on the popular Radio Eireann programme ‘Ceili House’ many years ago.’
    • ‘If all goes well, I'll be guesting on Radio Ulster's Seven Days round table on Sunday chewing the fat over the coming election on both sides of the water!’
    • ‘Not too long ago I played some of this for a friend, who was interested when he saw that Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins guested on one or two tracks.’
    • ‘As well as his impending appearance on BBC television he will also be guesting on BBC Radio Ulster for a week, presenting one of their regular music and chat shows.’
    • ‘I knew that their frontman Mau had guested on Cuba's album, but could find no further information.’
    • ‘Tomorrow, I shall be mostly guesting on the B3ta radio show on Resonance FM in the London area, with a large folder containing various tales of mirth and woe for anyone foolish enough to be listening.’
    • ‘And flying by the seat of his pants by guesting with a band with which he had never played, Ben Hazelton, a bassist of some considerable excellence, provided cover for the bass chair.’
    • ‘An American talk show host, guesting on the BBC, is arguing with a caller.’
    • ‘We wonder if everyone who guested on that album will be claiming they won the Grammy…’


  • be my guest

    • informal Please do.

      ‘May I choose the restaurant? Be my guest!’
      • ‘If you want to be smothered in spirituality, and leave the Real World behind, please, be my guest and join a cult.’
      • ‘So, if you wanna have someone split your pelvis open, move some of your insides to your outsides and shift some fat cells around for about $5,000 to $7,000 to gain, if you're lucky, maybe an inch, be my guest.’
      • ‘But if you're bilingual and up to your eyeballs in ennui, please be my guest.’
      • ‘So, please, be my guest - write whatever you you like.’
      • ‘It means that if you wanna hook me up with tickets, please be my guest…’
      • ‘But if you want to leave and create a better life for yourself in cities like Manchester or Birmingham, which have no crime, litter, vandalism, poverty, racism, drug problems and gangs on the streets, then be my guest.’
      • ‘‘Yes, be my guest as you may please,’ she said, though before she had finished saying it, he had already sat down.’
      • ‘But, if you aren't and want to read on, be my guest…’
      • ‘If anyone ever feels the overwhelming desire to give me cash, please, be my guest.’
      • ‘So if you are the one person who's been oppressed or discriminated against for being white, heterosexual, able-bodied, etc, be my guest, have a rant and a parade.’
  • guest of honour

    • The most important guest at an occasion.

      • ‘The 1978 Intermediate Championship winning team are the guests of honour and it is a good chance to meet up with those that have returned to the area especially for the decoration.’
      • ‘Claire's parents, Terry and Louise, and sisters Kirsty, 12, and Jodie, 10, and brother Jake, four, will all be guests of honour at the show.’
      • ‘To celebrate KRG's achievements since 1978, regional councillors and executives also had a special dinner, where past and present KRG chairpersons were guests of honour.’
      • ‘We ask our guests of honour to give a light-hearted speech with a message.’
      • ‘The pupils had just been presented with their second Green Flag at a special ceremony in Dublin, and the two famous sportsmen were guests of honour of the pupils to jointly hoist the proud banner into place on the school's tall flagpole.’
      • ‘Mums will be the guests of honour on the day and every mum who walks through the gates and registers will go in the running to win a Mother's Day Nutrimetics hamper worth $150.’
      • ‘On Friday evening, the contestants will be guests of honour at Kilcohan Park Greyhound Stadium as the adjudication process to find the Waterford Rose continues.’
      • ‘More than 100 invited guests, including civic and business leaders, movie industry members and genuine film fans, supped champagne as they waited for the guests of honour to arrive.’
      • ‘Organisers would like the youngsters to be guests of honour at the opening ceremony at 10.30 am on Saturday, December 6, and are urging parents of the registered children to contact them.’
      • ‘Apart from international delegates a number of ministers from the Indian government and Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka state governments will be participating as guests of honour.’


Middle English: from Old Norse gestr, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch gast and German Gast, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin hostis enemy (originally stranger).