Definition of usher in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈəSHər/


1A person who shows people to their seats, especially in a theater or at a wedding.
Example sentences
  • An usher at the cinema said the attendance had been better when the film was first released some weeks ago, but there were no sell-outs.
  • As George, Gary, and I were going to be ushers at his wedding, we had to be at the wedding rehearsal the day before the wedding.
  • Clearly an organized hostess, Lady Feina had hired ushers to seat each of her guests exactly where they were supposed to be seated.
guide, attendant, escort, sidesman
1.1An official in a court whose duties include swearing in jurors and witnesses and keeping order.
Example sentences
  • The juror then asked the usher to hand to prosecuting counsel a note.
  • Before I could explain that it might not be a good idea, the juror had told an usher, the court official who looks after each jury.
  • It took several minutes for the crowd to quiet down and ushers to restore order.
1.2British A person employed to walk before a person of high rank on special occasions.
2British archaic An assistant teacher.
Example sentences
  • It was modest in size, with perhaps 40 pupils taught by one master, assisted by an usher, in the room above the guildhall, both of which survive and are still used by the school.
  • A woman put her hand up and the teacher with an usher went over to her with a microphone.


[with object]
1Show or guide (someone) somewhere: a waiter ushered me to a table
More example sentences
  • I barely notice the waiter as I am ushered to my seat and presented with a laminated menu.
  • I catch a glimpse of the bald pilot before she ushers me into the main cabin, which consists of one large cushioned seat.
  • Before I'm treated to a vocal warm-up, ‘Matron’ becomes available and his assistant ushers me in.
escort, accompany, take, show, see, lead, conduct, guide, steer, shepherd, marshal
2 (usher something in) Cause or mark the start of something new: the railroads ushered in an era of cheap mass travel
More example sentences
  • Stephenson comes to realise that he's actually the one who's ushered in this new age and decides to revel in it.
  • A week later as the New Year was ushered in, another bomb was discovered at St George's monastery in Mosul.
  • Finally the age of the dinosaurs is thought to have been ushered in and out by space objects striking the earth.
herald, mark the start of, signal, ring in, show in, set the scene for, pave the way for;
start, begin, introduce, open the door to, get going, set in motion, get underway, kick off, launch


Late Middle English (denoting a doorkeeper): from Anglo-Norman French usser, from medieval Latin ustiarius, from Latin ostiarius, from ostium 'door'.

  • The primary function of an usher was originally to be a doorkeeper, and the word is based on Latin ostium ‘door’. The duties of an usher extended to showing people to their seats, as ushers in a cinema still do, and from the mid 16th century into the 19th an usher could also be an assistant schoolmaster. The use of usher for someone assisting people at a wedding was originally American, from the late 19th century.

Words that rhyme with usher

blusher, crusher, flusher, gusher, Prussia, rusher, Russia

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ush·er

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