Definition of guest in US English:



  • 1A person who is invited to visit the home of or take part in a function organized by another.

    ‘I have two guests coming to dinner tonight’
    as modifier ‘a guest bedroom’
    • ‘The pet monkey was an occasional guest at dinner parties.’
    • ‘Fried chicken, however much touted as the southern dish, was a food reserved for Sunday dinner guests and special occasions.’
    • ‘Ticket holders wishing to bring a friend will receive three vouchers that invite a guest to attend a B grade game for only £5!’
    • ‘The school's hall was decorated with balloons for the occasion and the guests all enjoyed a buffet and drinks.’
    • ‘When he is using the studio, guests are invited to visit him and watch him work.’
    • ‘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 sun shone brightly for the entire afternoon and the guests thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.’
    • ‘Some unexpected guests paid a visit to Tramore on Monday.’
    • ‘Try out the Orange Kiss Me Cake for a special occasion for extra special guests.’
    • ‘The trio is supplemented by visits from numerous eclectic guests.’
    • ‘The association would be pleased to hear from anyone who feels able to host guests over the three-night visit.’
    • ‘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 special occasions or when guests are visiting, the Vietnamese serve rice wine, beer, soft drinks, or coffee.’
    • ‘My grandmother did attend, appropriately corsaged, and we have photos of her sitting in one of the plastic chairs graciously visiting with guests.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When guests visit you, it is polite to welcome them with kind words and serve them what you have.’
    • ‘On some occasions the guest lists have appeared wilfully eclectic.’
    • ‘They would sing, dance, and even strip naked at social occasions to provoke distinguished guests into offering donations.’
    • ‘KT would sleep in the guest bedroom when she visited.’
    • ‘His mother and sister visited Ireland as guests of the State and travelled from Kerry to Letitia's native Maynooth, Co Kildare.’
    visitor, caller
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person invited to participate in an official event.
      ‘the bishop went to Cuba as a guest of the Catholic Church’
      as modifier ‘a guest speaker’
      • ‘Former Leeds United legend Norman Hunter is the guest speaker at the event, with tickets priced at £32.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Jacinta Lawlor, a Group Pensions Account Manager with Bank of Ireland Life, will be guest speaker for the event.’
      • ‘He was guest speaker at the event and entertained the guests with his witty repartee.’
      • ‘A guest speaker at each event will deliver multi-disciplinary, non-technical presentations.’
      • ‘The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., will have several events with guest speakers and a commemoration ceremony.’
      • ‘There will also be a guest speaker at each event to talk about a specific topic of local interest.’
      • ‘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 lot of companies invite me to be a guest speaker at conferences to motivate their staff.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At each meeting, the club invites a guest speaker.’
      • ‘They invited a guest speaker, a member of a nearby police department's SWAT team.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Drama classes, day trips, fundraising events and guest speakers are also planned for next year.’
      • ‘In addition, the event will feature guest speakers that will address different aspects of fair trade.’
      • ‘The event will include guest speakers, aboriginal singers and a candlelight vigil.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘Mr Noel Dempsey, Minister for Education and Science will be will be the guest speaker at the event.’
    2. 1.2 A person invited to take part in a radio or television program, sports event, or other entertainment.
      ‘a regular guest on the morning show’
      as modifier ‘a guest appearance’
      • ‘Radio and television talk shows remain popular as guests and listeners continue the search for success.’
      • ‘He seems to be a regular guest on some BBC radio programmes on environmental matters, so he is not an ivory tower scribbler.’
      • ‘He can even be heard regularly on the radio airwaves as a guest.’
      • ‘You also can hear him as a guest on Sporting News Radio.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She has appeared as a military consultant for NBC and CNN and as a guest on several television programs.’
      • ‘Now sex workers regularly appear on television programs as guests and meet with government ministers.’
      • ‘There will be plenty of live guests on the programme, with lively opinions on offer.’
      • ‘It has a superficial historical accuracy, but the characters talk like daytime television guests rather than major political figures.’
      • ‘The radio studios will be able to accommodate three guests at a time and up to four studios can broadcast to the UK simultaneously.’
      • ‘As a broadcaster, he also gets books signed by his radio guests when he can.’
      • ‘The other night on your radio program, your guest noted that you perform a very important public service by disseminating information of this type.’
      • ‘The other two guests on the program were a famous crosstalk comedian, and a urologist.’
      • ‘He's a regular guest on many different talk shows in the US.’
      • ‘You are the guest of an Asian presenter on a multi-cultural radio programme.’
      • ‘He recently completed a 60-date UK stage tour, and is a regular guest on radio and television.’
      • ‘It was the most uncivil exchange I've ever heard on a talk radio show between a host and a regular guest.’
      • ‘He admits that he enjoys analysing India's cricket performance with regular guests on the programme.’
      • ‘It also offers an easily accessible interview facility for radio and television guests.’
      • ‘His books and films earned him a following among naive romantics, and he became a guest on national television shows.’
    3. 1.3 A person lodging at a hotel or boarding house.
      ‘a reduction for guests staying seven nights or more’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The idea was to get a better understanding of exactly what guests did during their stay.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 40% of these cases, there is unintentional overbooking because guests have extended their stay.’
      • ‘A team of professionals cook, clean and cater for guests during their stay.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘No apartments were available and most hotels permitted a guest to stay only 5 days.’
      • ‘But don't sweat it - a number of hotels loan out the popular digital music devices to guests during their stay.’
      • ‘Weekends, she says, are mostly booked by guests staying in the hotel and the regular clientele tend to have their appointments during the week.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Myrtles is now a bed and breakfast, so guests can stay in these rooms and see if the ghosts come out and play.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 Diana Group has contracted with Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital to provide quality care to guests staying at the resort.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Le Terrace, as the hotel is also called, already has 120-130 guests staying in it including about 15 from overseas.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That program is expected to replace the current free-room-night reward when guests stay nine nights.’
      patron, client, person staying
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4US 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.’
      • ‘The restaurant will cater to guests on ‘first come first serve’ basis.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It offers entertainment, displays and behind the scenes tours as well as a casual bar area and a separate seated restaurant for guests.’
      • ‘The restaurant guests seem to be a lot of older foreign tourists, so the atmosphere is a little stilted.’
      • ‘Or, start them off with more familiar foods: some pizza restaurants allow young guests to add their own toppings.’
      • ‘We tried to figure out what circumstance would warrant a restaurant guest standing on a toilet seat.’
      • ‘It will cover pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage to hotel and restaurant guests, customers and visitors.’
      • ‘The pair, Lee Kane and Mary Davenporf, bop around the restaurant, serving guests in casual clothes, while welcoming people with open smiles.’
      • ‘Consecutively, the images of his present popped back into place: trees, restaurant guests, tables, and lastly, a worried looking Finn.’
      • ‘Most restaurants cater to guests, but the idea of making sure employees are happy, too, is a rather unique concept.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And then I thought, but the true stars are this restaurant's fine guests - you, mes amis.’
      • ‘My Husband had come as one of the guests from the restaurant they both worked at.’
      • ‘Professional magicians could be spotted these days at beach resorts and posh restaurants regaling guests awaiting their food.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Waiters are instructed not to interrupt conversations - between dining guests or between a customer and someone on the phone.’
      • ‘I was fortunate enough to dine as a guest of the restaurant and therefore etiquette demands that I don't review the meal.’
    5. 1.5Entomology A small invertebrate that lives unharmed within an ants' nest.
      • ‘That diversity and beauty has fueled Rettenmeyer's lifelong passion for army ant guests.’
      • ‘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.’


[no object]informal
  • Appear as a guest.

    ‘he guested on one of her early albums’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Ted, who recently guested on The Tonight Show with his Queer Eye cohorts, had some choice comments on the experience, as well as the show's host…’
    • ‘Years ago, he guested on ‘The Joey Bishop Show.’’
    • ‘With a big six months of blogging behind me, I'm in relative terms a real veteran at this stuff, but still, guesting Josh's site makes me feel like those kids in Hoosiers who are a bit in awe of their environs when they get to the State Finals.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘I knew that their frontman Mau had guested on Cuba's album, but could find no further information.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm getting emails and phone calls enthusing over my brilliance and insight when I guested on the Hugh Hewitt show last night.’
    • ‘Like a lot of you, I first discovered the Muppets back when they intermittently guested on TV shows, most notably Ed Sullivan's.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Back in 1995, reedman David Murray guested on a D.D. Jackson session, which sparked an interest in the label from U.S.-based musicians.’
    • ‘We wonder if everyone who guested on that album will be claiming they won the Grammy…’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Anybody that ever guested on the show said I've done a lot of programs, but none were ever as delightful an experience where everybody seemed to love each other so much.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Aside from the roots of many a New Zealand band, you can also hear the seeds of Yo La Tengo (who have covered the band countless times, and also guested on their last album, Getaway), and various lo-fi factions of American indie rock.’
    • ‘An American talk show host, guesting on the BBC, is arguing with a caller.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I knew her in Baltimore and guested on her show with my daughter when she was in Baltimore.’
    • ‘Back in 1999 they were signed to Virgin and label-mates Gomez guested on their album.’
    • ‘Johnny Fay of The Tragically Hip guested on drums with them last year.’
    • ‘A fan since the age of 14, he finally met Dave Brock in 2003 after inviting him to guest on his LBC radio show.’
    • ‘For a short time - he guested on that show, anyone who saw that show.’
    • ‘Norah Jones, guesting in her unknown, pre-Grammy days, drops by to croon I Walk the Line and a soporific Tennessee Waltz.’
    • ‘In ten years he has helmed 20 records and guested on countless others besides, a work-rate that makes Timbaland look like Radiohead.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Maz Murray is an excellent female vocalist who guests on the show.’


  • be my guest

    • informal Please do.

      ‘May I choose the restaurant? 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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
      • ‘If anyone ever feels the overwhelming desire to give me cash, please, be my guest.’
      • ‘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 aren't and want to read on, be my guest…’
      • ‘It means that if you wanna hook me up with tickets, please be my guest…’
      • ‘So, please, be my guest - write whatever you you like.’
      • ‘But if you're bilingual and up to your eyeballs in ennui, 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.’
  • guest of honor

    • The most important guest at an occasion.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We ask our guests of honour to give a light-hearted speech with a message.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’


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’).