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Middle English hoste host, guest, from Anglo-French, from Latin hospit-, hospes, probably from hostis


  • 1 a : one that receives or entertains guests socially, commercially, or officially
b : one that provides facilities for an event or function <our college served as host for the basketball tournament>
  • 2 a : a living animal or plant on or in which a parasite lives
b : the larger, stronger, or dominant member of a commensal or symbiotic pair
c : an individual into which a tissue, part, or embryo is transplanted from another
  • 3 : a mineral or rock that is older than the minerals or rocks in it; also : a substance that contains a usually small amount of another substance incorporated in its structure
  • 4 : a radio or television emcee
  • 5 : a computer that controls communications in a network or that administers a database

Master of Ceremonies

A host can also be known as a Master of Ceremonies (also used in its abbreviated forms MC or emcee) or compère is the official host of a staged event or similar performance.

An MC usually presents performers, speaks to the audience, entertains people, and generally keeps the event moving. An MC may also tell jokes or anecdotes. The MC sometimes also acts as the protocol officer during an official state function. The term is also used to refer to television game show hosts and/or hostesses. An emcee focuses on skills, lyrical ability, and subject matter.

See Also