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.

1250–1300; Middle English (h)ostesse < Old French. See host1, -ess

hostess-ship, noun

See -ess. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hostess (ˈhəʊstɪs)
1.  a woman acting as host
2.  a woman who receives and entertains patrons of a club, restaurant, etc
3.  See air hostess

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
The hostess gave us plates of cake and bags of candy, and the clown gave me a
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
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