9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[gest] /gɛst/
a person who spends some time at another person's home in some social activity, as a visit, dinner, or party.
a person who receives the hospitality of a club, a city, or the like.
a person who patronizes a hotel, restaurant, etc., for the lodging, food, or entertainment it provides.
an often well-known person invited to participate or perform in a regular program, series, etc., as a substitute for a regular member or as a special attraction.
Zoology. an inquiline.
verb (used with object)
to entertain as a guest.
verb (used without object)
to be a guest; make an appearance as a guest:
She's been guesting on all the TV talk shows.
provided for or done by a guest:
a guest towel; a guest column for a newspaper.
participating or performing as a guest:
a guest conductor.
Origin of guest
before 900; Middle English gest < Old Norse gestr; replacing Old English gi(e)st; cognate with German Gast, Gothic gasts, Latin hostis; cf. host1, host2
Related forms
guestless, adjective
Can be confused
guessed, guest.
1. company. See visitor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for guests
  • Landscapers built a lagoon for koi carp and swans that would be sustained with reclaimed wastewater generated by guests.
  • Unfortunately, that didn't endear them to many of our guests.
  • Some of his favorite dinner guests were his father's physician clients.
  • It causes great harm to the tourist business with guests staying away in the belief that the reef is ruined.
  • Officers dispatched to a report of a group of unwanted guests in the garage.
  • Well, some forums permit guests to read and post, some permit guests to read only and some are restricted to registered members.
  • Those who experience our constant connectivity as dulling should be able to identify closely with his guests.
  • We talk about education and technology, invite guests, and have a fairly standard format.
  • Each of us and our friends and guests who visit the campus need to be confident that this is a safe and well-managed environment.
  • The open network for campus guests, on the other hand, is not protected.
British Dictionary definitions for guests


a person who is entertained, taken out to eat, etc, and paid for by another
  1. a person who receives hospitality at the home of another: a weekend guest
  2. (as modifier): the guest room
  1. a person who receives the hospitality of a government, establishment, or organization
  2. (as modifier): a guest speaker
  1. an actor, contestant, entertainer, etc, taking part as a visitor in a programme in which there are also regular participants
  2. (as modifier): a guest appearance
a patron of a hotel, boarding house, restaurant, etc
(zoology) a nontechnical name for inquiline
(informal) be my guest, do as you like
(intransitive) (in theatre and broadcasting) to be a guest: to guest on a show
Word Origin
Old English giest guest, stranger, enemy; related to Old Norse gestr, Gothic gasts, Old High German gast, Old Slavonic gostǐ, Latin hostis enemy
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 guests



Old English gæst, giest (Anglian gest) "guest; enemy; stranger," the common notion being "stranger," from Proto-Germanic *gastiz (cf. Old Frisian jest, Dutch gast, German Gast, Gothic gasts "guest," originally "stranger"), from PIE root *ghosti- "strange" (cf. Latin hostis "enemy," hospes "host" -- from *hosti-potis "host, guest," originally "lord of strangers" -- Greek xenos "guest, host, stranger;" Old Church Slavonic gosti "guest, friend," gospodi "lord, master").

Spelling evolution influenced by Old Norse cognate gestr (the usual sound changes from the Old English word would have yielded Modern English *yest). Phrase be my guest in the sense of "go right ahead" first recorded 1955.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with guests


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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