9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[hoh-stis] /ˈhoʊ stɪs/
a woman who receives and entertains guests in her own home or elsewhere.
a woman employed in a restaurant or place of amusement to receive, seat, or assist patrons.
a woman who acts as master of ceremonies, moderator, or interviewer for a television or radio program; host.
a woman employed by an airline, railroad, bus company, etc., to see that passengers are comfortable throughout a trip, usually receiving and seating them, and sometimes serving them refreshments.
a woman who manages a resort or hotel or who directs its social activities.
verb (used with object)
to be the hostess at (a reception, dinner, etc.):
She will hostess a shower for the new bride.
to act as hostess at, to, or for:
She volunteered to hostess the garden club next season.
verb (used without object)
to perform the duties or functions of a hostess.
Origin of hostess
1250-1300; Middle English (h)ostesse < Old French. See host1, -ess
Related forms
hostess-ship, noun
Usage note
See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hostess
  • The hostess gave us plates of cake and bags of candy, and the clown gave me a hug.
  • The hostess explained that for the next course a large clay pot would be placed in the center of the long table.
  • As if she hijacked the plane so she could play hostess.
  • It also makes a terrifically easy hostess gift when poured into a sterilized jar.
  • His humor is torture, and his style is as fussy and clumsy as an awkward hostess.
  • She was giving her children a bath, but she stopped to play hostess to yet another foreign inquisitor.
  • Another great job is to work as a hostess in an upscale restaurant.
  • Suppose the host and hostess screamed with rage, threw dishes and collapsed in hysterics.
  • My mistake, of course, was not looking straight to the hostess for guidance.
  • In the unlikely event a station would broadcast such a show, the hostess would be shunned.
British Dictionary definitions for hostess


a woman acting as host
a woman who receives and entertains patrons of a club, restaurant, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hostess

late 13c., "woman who keeps an inn or public hotel," from host (n.1) + -ess, or from Old French hostesse (Modern French hôtesse). Meaning "woman who presides at a dinner party, etc." recorded by 1822. Also used mid-20c. in sense "female who entertains customers in nightclubs," with overtones of prostitution.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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