- 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.
- taxi dancer.
- 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.
- to perform the duties or functions of a hostess.
Origin of hostess
- a woman acting as host
- a woman who receives and entertains patrons of a club, restaurant, etc
- See air 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.