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attend +‎ -ee


attendee (plural attendees)

  1. A person who is in attendance or in the audience of an event.
  2. A visitor or participant of an event.
    • 2002, Sam Williams, Free as in Freedom, chapter 11
      O'Reilly, the summit host, remembers a particularly insightful comment from Torvalds, a summit attendee.
  3. (uncommon) A person who is attended.


Attender was originally the only word for a person attending. [1] As with most nouns formed from verbs, as payer, trainer, employer, it was the receiver of action that was formed with -ee, as with payee, trainee, employee. In the 1980s with the advent of spell-checkers, the word attender was erroneously flagged as misspelled and attendee was its replacement. Since then attender is no longer in popular usage.

Related termsEdit



  1. ^ Merrian Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition; 1988, ISBN 0-87779. Under definition of attend, find attender, not attendee.