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See also: Visitor


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Alternative forms[edit]


Partly from Middle English visiter, visitere, equivalent to visit +‎ -er; and partly from Middle English visitour, from Anglo-Norman visitour, from Old French visetëor.



visitor (plural visitors)

  1. Someone who visits someone else; someone staying as a guest.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      There were many wooden chairs for the bulk of his visitors, and two wicker armchairs with red cloth cushions for superior people. From the packing-cases had emerged some Indian clubs, [], and all these articles [] made a scattered and untidy decoration that Mrs. Clough assiduously dusted and greatly cherished.
  2. Someone who pays a visit to a specific place or event; a sightseer or tourist.
    • 1900, Charles W[addell] Chesnutt, chapter I, in The House Behind the Cedars, Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y.: Houghton, Mifflin and Company [], →OCLC:
      Warwick observed, as they passed through the respectable quarter, that few people who met the girl greeted her, and that some others whom she passed at gates or doorways gave her no sign of recognition; from which he inferred that she was possibly a visitor in the town and not well acquainted.
  3. (sports, usually in the plural) Someone, or a team, that is playing away from home.
    • 2011 May 14, Peter Scrivener, “Sunderland 1-3 Wolverhampton”, in BBC Sport:
      But, somewhat against the run of play, Craddock fired the visitors ahead, volleying a low effort beyond Simon Mignolet after Sunderland twice failed to clear attempted crosses from Stephen Hunt.
  4. (law) A person authorized to visit an institution to see that it is being managed properly.
  5. (ufology) An extraterrestrial being on Earth for any reason.
    • 1979, Chris Boyce, Extraterrestrial Encounter: a Personal Perspective, Chartwell Books, page 184:
      5: Of course there is always the remote (I hope) possibility that instant panic will prompt us to send a hailstorm of nuclear warheads out upon the visitor.
    • 2001, Donald Goldsmith, Tobias C. Owen, The Search for Life in the Universe, University Science Books, page 511:
      When we ask what evidence does in fact exist of extraterrestrial sojourns on our planet, we can start with what would surely be the best evidence of all: an actual visitor, or group of visitors, visible to crowds of people and ready for photo opportunities, television interviews, handshakes, polite conversation, and dancing.
    • 2004, Carol Schwartz Ellis, Sean Redmond (editor), With Eyes Uplifted: Space Aliens as Sky Gods in Liquid Metal: The Science Fiction Film Reader, Wallflower Press, page 145:
      The visitor in Man Facing South-east claims pure altruism; Rantes (Hugo Soto) wants to alleviate the suffering of the poor and helpless.
    • 2007, Frank G. Wilkinson, The Golden Age of Flying Saucers: Classic UFO Sightings, Saucer Crashes and Extraterrestrial Contact Encounters,, page 37:
      The tower radioed the flight leader, Captain Thomas F. Mantell, Jr., and requested that he engage and attempt to identify the strange visitor.
  6. An object which lands or passes by Earth or its orbit.
    • 1869, James Merrill Safford, Geology of Tennessee, S. C. Mercer, page 520:
      Within a few months, another small meteoric mass has been added to the list of those extra-terrestrial bodies which have fallen within the limits of Tennessee. This recent visitor is a stone, weighing, when first obtained, three pounds.
    • 1977, John Philip Cohane, Paradox: the Case for the Extraterrestrial Origin of Man, Crown Publishers, page 154:
      This satellite, they suspect, is a visitor sent by the “superior beings” of a community of other stars within our Milky Way galaxy.
    • 2005, J. Douglas Kenyon, Forbidden History: Prehistoric Technologies, Extraterrestrial Intervention, And The Suppressed Origins Of Civilization, Inner Traditions * Bear & Company, page 64:
      Though Clube and Napier’s cometary visitor was not a planet, the story is surprisingly close to that of Worlds in Collision.
  7. (Britain) A head or overseer of an institution such as a college (in which case, equivalent to the university's chancellor) or cathedral or hospital, who resolves disputes, gives ceremonial speeches, etc.
  8. (software engineering) The object in the visitor pattern that performs an operation on the elements of a structure one by one.


Derived terms[edit]


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  1. first-person singular present passive indicative of vīsitō