Definition of usher in US English:



  • 1A person who shows people to their seats, especially in a theater or at a wedding.

    • ‘I've also been a wedding usher, which is a breeze by comparison.’
    • ‘Clearly an organized hostess, Lady Feina had hired ushers to seat each of her guests exactly where they were supposed to be seated.’
    • ‘Looking at the throng of people waiting to enter the building, Gil was glad that Laurie had instructed him to go to the back door where an usher would escort them to their seats instead of their having to stand in the long line.’
    • ‘Kay first met Susan Gargary eight years ago while working as a cinema usher.’
    • ‘At the top of the climb an usher showed you where to park and pointed out seating in an area outlined by lanterns.’
    • ‘He allows his ticket stub to be scanned by an usher, who bows as he re-enters the cinema.’
    • ‘This gave us the special attention of the ushers and great seats in the front row.’
    • ‘A female usher was seen at the bottom of the theatre talking on a two-way radio.’
    • ‘Sarah and Paul have asked me to be one of the two ushers at their wedding.’
    • ‘Interaction with the performers began as soon as ushers had guided guests to their seats.’
    • ‘I couldn't believe our luck when we went to get our seats and the usher pointed them out.’
    • ‘An usher at the cinema said the attendance had been better when the film was first released some weeks ago, but there were no sell-outs.’
    • ‘Is it a disappointment to you that a lot of the people behind the scenes, like the ushers and usherettes and yourself, don't get the recognition they deserve?’
    • ‘As George, Gary, and I were going to be ushers at his wedding, we had to be at the wedding rehearsal the day before the wedding.’
    • ‘The usher at the cinema introduced the movie, and gave away the plot.’
    • ‘The casket, escorted by ushers in white formal attire, was borne on an open white hearse led by eight impressive horses.’
    • ‘I entered the chapel late, I remember the kind usher who showed me discreetly to my seat.’
    • ‘She steered her mother to the doors, and watched as one of the ushers showed her to her seat in the front pew on the right.’
    • ‘Veteran usher, Neil, has worked at the same theatre for seven years.’
    • ‘We would like to extend our thanks to all our neighbours and friends, too numerous to mention, who attended the Mass, also a special thanks to the ushers, altar servers, and everyone who helped to make this a memorable occasion.’
    attendant, escort, guide
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An official in a court whose duties include swearing in jurors and witnesses and keeping order.
      • ‘The court employs a bailiff, an usher, Mrs Henley and four administrators.’
      • ‘Staff including court ushers and clerks are involved in the stoppage in England and Wales.’
      • ‘The workers, including ushers, legal clerks and administration staff, are in dispute with their employers over pay.’
      • ‘At the lowest level were thousands of petty jurisdictions, many private, but all fully staffed by a complement of judges, clerks, procurators, ushers, and tipstaffs.’
      • ‘He appeared to claim that there had been proper evidence but it had been lost by the court, or handed out to the wrong party by the usher after an earlier hearing in the High Court.’
      • ‘If you intend to attend at the next hearing, please leave your name and address with the usher.’
      • ‘It is also the case that no security problem is perceived to exist there; people coming up the stairs will inevitably meet an usher before reaching those rooms.’
      • ‘Before I could explain that it might not be a good idea, the juror had told an usher, the court official who looks after each jury.’
      • ‘The trial had started on the Monday and by this time there was a flurry of black-cloaked ushers briskly walking through the building, desperately looking for a policeman.’
      • ‘Court ushers and clerks and immigration officers were joining the walkout as part of a campaign to tackle low pay.’
      • ‘Two long-serving ushers at Kingston Magistrates' Court were compulsorily retired on Friday despite being eager to carry on working.’
      • ‘The juror then asked the usher to hand to prosecuting counsel a note.’
      • ‘The notice in the jury room does not prevent or discourage notes to the judge being submitted via the court usher.’
      • ‘If anybody wants copies of the judgments in either case there are a few copies here which the usher will be able to distribute.’
      • ‘It took several minutes for the crowd to quiet down and ushers to restore order.’
      • ‘The passing of a message to the claimants' counsel by the Deputy Judge, or the court usher, or the Deputy Judge's clerk would not, in my view, be regarded by the observer as of any significance whatsoever.’
      • ‘Volunteers explain court procedure to those giving evidence, take them to the courtroom before trials, and introduce them to the usher and clerk.’
      • ‘The usher vanished under the courtroom table to check and when she re-emerged said: ‘That seems to have managed it’.’
      • ‘Presumably in order to bring the case to a close by the end of the working week, the court agreed that, with an usher acting as a third party and furnished with a list of questions, the statement could be obtained.’
      • ‘When he heard the verdict, Judge Paul Hoffman said to a court usher: ‘Very well, you may take the jury out.’’
    2. 1.2British A person employed to walk before a person of high rank on special occasions.
  • 2archaic An assistant teacher.

    • ‘It was modest in size, with perhaps 40 pupils taught by one master, assisted by an usher, in the room above the guildhall, both of which survive and are still used by the school.’
    • ‘A woman put her hand up and the teacher with an usher went over to her with a microphone.’


  • 1Show or guide (someone) somewhere.

    ‘a waiter ushered me to a table’
    • ‘He broke off from his schedule, delaying the local media interviews and ushering people out of the room while he had a few words in private with Robinson.’
    • ‘A witness working in a nearby shop said he first knew something was wrong when he saw police officers ushering people past his window.’
    • ‘After ushering me to the terrace, she escorted me to one of several free tables.’
    • ‘It's like some ritual to usher people into the neighborhood.’
    • ‘Guards swarmed all over the city ushering people and fighting dark clad figures.’
    • ‘His assistant ushers me and the photographer past the two staff doing laundry and into a private cinema.’
    • ‘It was dark outside, but Brae could make out more uniformed people, ushering students off of the plane.’
    • ‘He had only gotten to bed four or five hours ago after spending two hours ushering people out of his house and cleaning a small bit.’
    • ‘There were policemen ushering people away, and some were always going in and out of the bar, which seemed really easy, since the door wasn't there.’
    • ‘I barely notice the waiter as I am ushered to my seat and presented with a laminated menu.’
    • ‘I catch a glimpse of the bald pilot before she ushers me into the main cabin, which consists of one large cushioned seat.’
    • ‘Arean stood at the entrance to the tunnel ushering his people inside.’
    • ‘Alex called to the fleeing girl and boy before ushering the remaining people in the living room out of the house.’
    • ‘He also insisted on personally ushering me to my third period class too.’
    • ‘There were no people ushering you around.’
    • ‘He let them in while his assistant ushered a frightened customer out of the shop.’
    • ‘These events are tailor-made for sponsors, because they draw big crowds and plenty of regional coverage that can usher people into your place of business.’
    • ‘Before I'm treated to a vocal warm-up, ‘Matron’ becomes available and his assistant ushers me in.’
    • ‘As Caspersen ushers the employee out the door, two of her coworkers circle a custom-made round table, sniffing, sipping, and spitting coffee from some two dozen samples.’
    • ‘The man was ushering each person in, and making sure that they were supposed to be there.’
    escort, accompany, help, assist, take, show, see, lead, show someone the way, lead the way, conduct, guide, steer, pilot, shepherd, convoy
    View synonyms
  • 2usher something inCause or mark the start of something new.

    ‘the railroads ushered in an era of cheap mass travel’
    • ‘But he isn't quite ready to declare that the story has ushered in a new media hierarchy.’
    • ‘The party's leader, Charles Kennedy, said voters had ushered in a new era of three-party politics.’
    • ‘The year was ushered in by starlit skies, a bright silvery moon and biting cold.’
    • ‘This randomised study is often seen as having ushered in a new era in making fair comparisons of alternative treatments.’
    • ‘What the country urgently needs is assistance from the World Bank and other co-operating partners to usher its people into a progressive and productive phase devoid of poverty.’
    • ‘It is the year the Great Depression was ushered in on the heels of the 1929 stock market crash.’
    • ‘The era of modernism was really ushered in following the trauma of the First World War.’
    • ‘The second century for the company ushered in a new era as a chemical company.’
    • ‘Stephenson comes to realise that he's actually the one who's ushered in this new age and decides to revel in it.’
    • ‘It closed a chapter of history that had been ushered in by the October revolution in 1917.’
    • ‘A week later as the New Year was ushered in, another bomb was discovered at St George's monastery in Mosul.’
    • ‘The end of the Cold War has ushered in a new epoch of imperialist conflicts.’
    • ‘The era of the all-seated stadium had been ushered in by a number of tragic accents at grounds.’
    • ‘Ultimately it does not sound a very easy task, but we believe the convention ushered in a new spirit and a new thought.’
    • ‘His leaving has ushered in a whole new phase for England rugby - the era of the Robinsons.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, it'd be nice if he ushered in a new era in professional sportsmanship.’
    • ‘The Spanish civil war ushered in a new era in which the civilian population was enmeshed in the conflict.’
    • ‘Finally the age of the dinosaurs is thought to have been ushered in and out by space objects striking the earth.’
    • ‘But the pair have since ushered in a quiet revolution after assembling a brand new team.’
    • ‘With the walls of the hotel corridors becoming an Art Gallery the hotel has ushered in a new idea for promoting art.’
    herald, mark the start of, signal, announce, give notice of, ring in, show in, set the scene for, pave the way for, clear the way for, open the way for, smooth the path of
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (denoting a doorkeeper): from Anglo-Norman French usser, from medieval Latin ustiarius, from Latin ostiarius, from ostium ‘door’.