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From Middle English hospitalite, from Old French hospitalité (modern French hospitalité), from Latin hospitālitās (hospitality), from hospitālis (hospitable), from hospes (guest", "host). Displaced native Old English cumlīþnes (literally guest gentleness).





hospitality (countable and uncountable, plural hospitalities)

  1. The act or service of welcoming, receiving, hosting, or entertaining guests; an appropriate attitude of openness, respect, and generosity toward guests.
    Synonym: guestfriendship
    Antonym: inhospitality
    Please thank our hosts for their hospitality during the week that we stayed.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XLII, in Francesca Carrara. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), →OCLC, page 350:
      "Quarrels!" said Charles; "do not use so disagreeable a word. I am thinking of nothing but the thanks I owe Lord Avonleigh for his hospitality"—Lord Avonleigh bent to the very edge of the table—"and the favours I am about to ask."
    • 1708, [Jonathan Swift], “The Metamorphosis of Baucis and Philemon, Burlesqu’d; from the 8th Book of Ovid”, in Baucis and Philemon; a Poem. [], London: [] H. Hills, [], published 1709, →OCLC, page 3:
      In Ancient Times, as Story tells, / The Saints would often leave their Cells, / And ſtrole about, but hide their Quality, / To try good Peoples Hoſpitality.
    • 1864 May – 1865 November, Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1865, →OCLC:
      Mr Venus, reminded of the duties of hospitality, produced some rum.
  2. (business) The business of providing catering, lodging and entertainment service; the industry which includes the operation of hotels, restaurants, and similar enterprises.
    After graduating from college, she found a job in hospitality.
  3. The food, drink, and entertainment given to customers by a company or organization or provided to visitors by a private host.

Derived terms



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Further reading