1. One who is employed to escort people to their seats, as in a theater, church, or stadium.
2. One who greets guests at a wedding and escorts them to their seats.
3. One who serves as official doorkeeper, as in a courtroom or legislative chamber.
4. An official whose duty is to make introductions between unacquainted persons or to precede persons of rank in a procession.
5. Archaic An assistant teacher in a school.
v. ush·ered, ush·er·ing, ush·ers
1. To serve as an usher to; escort.
2. To lead or conduct: The host ushered us into the living room. See Synonyms at guide.
3. To precede and introduce; inaugurate: a celebration to usher in the new century.
To serve as an usher: ushered every Sunday at church.
[Middle English, doorkeeper, from Anglo-Norman usser, from Vulgar Latin *ūstiārius, from Latin ōstiārius, from ōstium, door; see ōs- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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:
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.