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attend +‎ -ee



attendee (plural attendees)

  1. A person who is in attendance or in the audience of an event.
    • 2000, Russian Government, Federal Constitutional Law №3 dated December 25, 2000:
      During the official performance of the National Anthem of the Russian Federation all attendees are supposed to stand and men take their hats off.
    • 2002, Sam Williams, Free as in Freedom, chapter 11:
      O'Reilly, the summit host, remembers a particularly insightful comment from Torvalds, a summit attendee.
    • 2021 March 24, Stefanie Foster, “Hidden London: Old Tube on YouTube”, in RAIL, number 927, page 42:
      There is also no barrier to those living outside of London, which the team quickly discovered when they started running virtual tours and found that 50% of the attendees were from overseas, joining the tour from as far away as Singapore, Toronto and Australia.
  2. (uncommon) A person who is attended.

Usage notes


Attender was originally the more common word for a person attending, but was overtaken by attendee in the 1970s.[1] In 1988, Merriam-Webster still only noted attender with this meaning.[2] With most nouns formed from verbs – such as payer, trainer, employer – it's the receiver of action that's formed with -ee: payee, trainee, employee. The Financial Times favours attender, while The Economist's style guide[3] cautions against attendee, but prefers those attending.



Derived terms





  1. ^ attender, attendee at Google Ngram Viewer
  2. ^ Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition; 1988, ISBN 0-87779. Under definition of attend, find 'attender', not 'attendee'.
  3. ^ Style Guide, 10 edition, The Economist in association with Profile Books Ltd, 2013, page 48