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Borrowed from Anglo-Norman usser, from Old French ussier, uissier (porter, doorman) (compare French huissier), from Vulgar Latin *ustiārius (doorkeeper), from Latin ōstiārius, from ostium (door). Akin to ōs (mouth). Probably a doublet of ostiary and huissier.



usher (plural ushers)

  1. A person, in a church, cinema etc., who escorts people to their seats.
  2. A male escort at a wedding.
  3. A doorkeeper in a courtroom.
  4. (dated) An underteacher, or assistant master, in a school.
  5. (dated, derogatory) Any schoolteacher.


Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


usher (third-person singular simple present ushers, present participle ushering, simple past and past participle ushered)

  1. To guide people to their seats.
    • 1836, Charles Dickens, Sketches by Boz, "The curate. The old lady. The half-pay captain."
      Her entrance into church on Sunday is always the signal for a little bustle in the side aisle, occasioned by a general rise among the poor people, who bow and curtsey until the pew-opener has ushered the old lady into her accustomed seat, dropped a respectful curtsey, and shut the door;
  2. To accompany or escort (someone).
    • 1898, John Lothrop Motley, The Rise of the Dutch Republic, page 509
      Margaret was astonished at the magnificence of the apartments into which she was ushered.
  3. (figuratively) To precede; to act as a forerunner or herald.
    • 1912, Elizabeth Christine Cook, Literary Influences in Colonial Newspapers, 1704-1750, page 31
      Thus the Harvard poets and wits ushered The New England Courant out of existence.
  4. (figuratively, transitive) to lead or guide somewhere
    • 2011 December 29, Keith Jackson, “SPL: Celtic 1 Rangers 0”, in Daily Record[1]:
      McCoist unexpectedly ushered back a defender of his own with Kirk Broadfoot taking over from Steven Whittaker. There was, of course, another change, Kyle Bartley stepping in at centre-half to replace suspended Dorin Goian.

Derived termsEdit