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From Middle English gest, from Old Norse gestr, which replaced or was merged with Old English ġiest, both from Proto-Germanic *gastiz, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰóstis (stranger, guest, host, someone with whom one has reciprocal duties of hospitality). Cognate with German Gast (guest), Norwegian gjest (guest). Doublet of host, from Latin.



guest (plural guests)

  1. A recipient of hospitality, especially someone staying by invitation at the house of another.
    The guests were let in by the butler.
  2. A patron or customer in a hotel etc.
    Guests must vacate their rooms by 10 o'clock on their day of departure.
  3. An invited visitor or performer to an institution or to a broadcast.
    The guest for the broadcast was a leading footballer.
  4. (computing) A user given temporary access to a system despite not having an account of their own.
  5. (zoology) Any insect that lives in the nest of another without compulsion and usually not as a parasite.
  6. (zoology) An inquiline.



guest (third-person singular simple present guests, present participle guesting, simple past and past participle guested)

  1. (intransitive) to appear as a guest, especially on a broadcast
  2. (intransitive) as a musician, to play as a guest, providing an instrument that a band/orchestra does not normally have in its line up (for instance, percussion in a string band)
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To receive or entertain hospitably.
    • 1608, [Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas], “(please specify the page)”, in Josuah Sylvester, transl., Du Bartas His Deuine Weekes and Workes [], 3rd edition, London: [] Humfrey Lownes [and are to be sold by Arthur Iohnson []], published 1611, →OCLC:
      Two Angels sent Two Heav'nly Scowts the Lord to Sodom sent ; downe , received and guested


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