General English

  • noun a person who is invited to come to your home or to an event
  • noun a person staying in a hotel


  • A user that logs onto a network or system without having registered or otherwise established an account. Guests typically have restricted access and/or privileges. Also called visitor (2).

Media Studies


  • noun somebody staying in a hotel or guesthouse
  • noun somebody who is visiting another person.

Origin & History of “guest”

Guest comes ultimately from the same source as produced host. Their family tree diverged in prehistoric times, but their close relationship is pointed up by the fact that the related French hôte means both ‘guest’ and ‘host’. The common ancestor was Indo-European *ghostis ‘stranger’, whose Germanic descendant *gastiz produced German and Dutch gast, Swedish gäst, Danish gæst, and English guest. The Old English version of the word was giest, which would have produced modern English *yest, but it was elbowed out in middle English times by Old Norse gestr. The spelling gu-, indicating a hard /g/ sound, developed in the 16th century.