use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

guide (gīd)
Share:
n.
1.
a. One who shows the way by leading, directing, or advising.
b. One who serves as a model for others, as in a course of conduct.
2. A person employed to conduct others, as through a museum, and give information about points of interest encountered.
3.
a. Something, such as a pamphlet, that offers basic information or instruction: a shopper's guide.
b. A guidebook.
4.
a. Something that serves to direct or indicate.
b. A device, such as a ruler, tab, or bar, that serves as an indicator or acts to regulate a motion or operation.
5. A soldier stationed at the right or left of a column of marchers to control alignment, show direction, or mark the point of pivot.
v. guid·ed, guid·ing, guides
v.tr.
1. To serve as a guide for; conduct.
2. To direct the course of; steer: guide a ship through a channel.
3. To exert control or influence over; direct: guided the nation through the crisis.
4. To supervise the training or education of.
v.intr.
To serve as a guide.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Old Provençal guida, from guidar, to guide, of Germanic origin; see weid- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

guida·ble adj.
guider n.

Synonyms: guide, lead1, pilot, shepherd, steer1, usher
These verbs mean to conduct on or direct to the way: guided me to my seat; led the troops into battle; a teacher piloting students through the zoo; shepherding tourists to the bus; steered the applicant to the third floor; ushering a visitor out.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.