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[hoh-tel] /hoʊˈtɛl/
a commercial establishment offering lodging to travelers and sometimes to permanent residents, and often having restaurants, meeting rooms, stores, etc., that are available to the general public.
(initial capital letter) Military. the NATO name for a class of nuclear-powered Soviet ballistic missile submarine armed with up to six single-warhead missiles.
a word used in communications to represent the letter H.
Origin of hotel
1635-45; < French hôtel, Old French hostel hostel
Related forms
hotelless, adjective
Can be confused
hostel, hotel, motel (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. hostelry, hostel, guesthouse, motel. Hotel, house, inn, tavern refer to establishments for the lodging or entertainment of travelers and others. Hotel is the common word, suggesting a more or less commodious establishment with up-to-date appointments, although this is not necessarily true: the best hotel in the city; a cheap hotel near the docks. The word house is often used in the name of a particular hotel, the connotation being wealth and luxury: the Parker House; the Palmer House. Inn suggests a place of homelike comfort and old-time appearance or ways; it is used for quaint or archaic effect in the names of some public houses and hotels in the U.S.: the Pickwick Inn; the Wayside Inn. A tavern, like the English public house, is a house where liquor is sold for drinking on the premises; until recently it was archaic or dialectal in the U.S., but has been revived to substitute for saloon, which had unfavorable connotations: Taverns are required to close by two o'clock in the morning. The word has also been used in the sense of inn, especially in New England, ever since Colonial days: Wiggins Tavern. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hotel
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He crossed the ferry and went to the hotel, where he shaved and freshened himself.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • He went back to his hotel, and feeling hungry, made a substantial meal.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • He went across to the hotel, tied the gelding at the rack, and sat down on the veranda.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • At that moment there was an uproar from the upper part of the hotel.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • No; with some strangers at the hotel where I have hung out for the last night or two.

    Life in London Edwin Hodder
British Dictionary definitions for hotel


a commercially run establishment providing lodging and usually meals for guests, and often containing a public bar
Word Origin
C17: from French hôtel, from Old French hostel; see hostel


(communications) a code word for the letter h
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 hotel

1640s, "public official residence," from French hôtel, Old French hostel "a lodging" (11c.), from Medieval Latin hospitale "inn" (see hostel). Modern sense of "an inn of the better sort" is first recorded 1765.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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