hostess

[hoh-stis]
noun
  1. a woman who receives and entertains guests in her own home or elsewhere.
  2. a woman employed in a restaurant or place of amusement to receive, seat, or assist patrons.
  3. a woman who acts as master of ceremonies, moderator, or interviewer for a television or radio program; host.
  4. 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.
  5. a woman who manages a resort or hotel or who directs its social activities.
  6. taxi dancer.
verb (used with object)
  1. to be the hostess at (a reception, dinner, etc.): She will hostess a shower for the new bride.
  2. to act as hostess at, to, or for: She volunteered to hostess the garden club next season.
verb (used without object)
  1. to perform the duties or functions of a hostess.

Origin of hostess

1250–1300; Middle English (h)ostesse < Old French. See host1, -ess
Related formshost·ess-ship, noun

Usage note

See -ess.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for hostesses

host, toastmistress

Examples from the Web for hostesses

Contemporary Examples of hostesses

  • Hostesses twitter on the phone, or just Twitter, to woo A-list guests to pre- and post-inauguration parties.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Coronation of King Obama

    Katty Kay

    January 18, 2009

Historical Examples of hostesses

  • This course with the hostesses of Red Gap had seemed to be merely an excuse for a pause.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • But this was not to be without displeasing her hostesses, and she reluctantly submitted.

    Under the Country Sky

    Grace S. Richmond

  • So once more the Camellia Buds were placed in the position of hostesses.

  • While he was greeting her hostesses Goneril cast a rapid glance at him.

  • Dr. Ballard had gone, and his hostesses were awaiting the summons to dinner.

    Jewel

    Clara Louise Burnham


British Dictionary definitions for hostesses

hostess

noun
  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 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for hostesses

hostess

n.

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