Definition of hostel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhɒst(ə)l/


1An establishment which provides inexpensive food and lodging for a specific group of people, such as students, workers, or travellers.
Example sentences
  • Volunteers from the shop also give talks in local hostels and provide cheap clothing to them.
  • If you're traveling solo, a hostel can be cheaper than a hotel.
  • The hostels for Gujjar students established during the tenure of Sheikh Abdullah in the late 1970s are far from adequate to meet the rising demand.
cheap hotel, youth hostel, YMCA, YWCA, bed and breakfast, B&B, boarding house, guest house, pension;
hall of residence, dormitory
1.1 short for youth hostel.
Example sentences
  • We stayed at this little town called Port Campbell in a YHA hostel that provided backpackers' accommodation for 18 dollars a night.
  • The hostel provides free luggage storage, so I won't be burdened with a pack that's larger than my torso.
  • The YMCA continues to provide social, sporting, and recreational activities, as well as hostel accommodation.
1.2 archaic An inn providing accommodation.


Middle English (in the general sense 'lodging, place to stay'): from Old French, from medieval Latin hospitale (see hospital).

  • hotel from mid 18th century:

    English adopted the French word hôtel in the mid 17th century. For the first century of its life people used it only in French phrases and to refer to the large town mansions of French aristocrats, but since the mid 18th century the modern sense, ‘a place providing accommodation and meals for paying guests’, has prevailed. The French word was originally spelled hostel, and this older form came into English in the Middle Ages, in the general sense ‘a place to stay’. It was also used for an inn or what we would now call a hotel. The word hostel has since become restricted to places for specific groups of people such as students and migrant workers. The word goes back to Latin hospis ( see hospital).

Words that rhyme with hostel

intercostal, Pentecostal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: hos¦tel

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