relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable

Hospitality is about people welcoming other people into their homes or other places where they work or spend their time. People who welcome visitors are called hosts. The people they welcome are called guests.

The word hospitality comes from the Latin hospes,[1] which came from the word hostis, which originally meant "to have power."

Hospitality is all about the art of entertaining or receiving guests. We talk about "offering hospitality". There are many different ideas about how to offer hospitality according to the various cultures in the world. In the past, many societies taught us, that it is always right to offer hospitality to strangers who came to their door in need of food or shelter. This may seem a strange act to many of us today, but it was an important way to survive in many societies, especially in lands (where people travelled long distances, often far away from large towns).

The words hospital, hospice, and hostel also come from the word "hospitality". They are all about giving personal care to people who are away from their homes.

The hospitality industry is service industry that includes hotel and restaurant workers.


  1. C. Lewis, Elementary Latin Dictionary (Oxford Univ. Press, 2000), p. 371.