AskDefine | Define guide

Dictionary Definition



1 someone employed to conduct others [syn: usher]
2 someone who shows the way by leading or advising
3 something that offers basic information or instruction [syn: guidebook]
4 a model or standard for making comparisons [syn: template, templet]
5 someone who can find paths through unexplored territory [syn: scout, pathfinder]


1 direct the course; determine the direction of travelling [syn: steer, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, direct, point, head, channelize, channelise]
2 take somebody somewhere; "We lead him to our chief"; "can you take me to the main entrance?"; "He conducted us to the palace" [syn: lead, take, direct, conduct]
3 be a guiding force, as with directions or advice; "The teacher steered the gifted students towards the more challenging courses" [syn: steer]
4 use as a guide; "They had the lights to guide on" [syn: guide on]
5 guide or pass over something; "He ran his eyes over her body"; "She ran her fingers along the carved figurine"; "He drew her hair through his fingers" [syn: run, draw, pass]

User Contributed Dictionary



Originated 1325–75 from Middle English verb giden or noun gide, from Old French verb guider or noun guide, from Old Provençal guida, from guidar, from Germanic; see .


  • /gaɪd/
  • Rhymes with: -aɪd


  1. someone who guides, especially someone hired to show people around a place or an institution and offer information and explanation.
  2. a document or book that offers information or instruction; guidebook.
  3. a sign that guides people; guidepost.
  4. any marking or object that catches the eye to provide quick reference.
  5. a device that guides part of a machine, or guides motion or action.
  6. a spirit believed to speak through a medium.
  7. a member of a group marching in formation who sets the pattern of movement or alignment for the rest.


guide book
guide person
guide sign


  1. to serve as a guide for someone or something.
  2. to steer or navigate, especially a ship or as a pilot.
  3. to exert control or influence over someone or something.
  4. to supervise the education or training of someone.
  5. to act as a guide.


to steer or navigate a ship
to supervise education
Translations to be checked


  • pedialite guide
  • American Heritage 2000
  • WordNet 2003




  1. guide person, guidebook, or set itinerary.


  • WordReference French-English



  1. Plural of guida

Extensive Definition

A guide is a person who leads people through unknown or unmapped country, or conducts travellers and tourists through a place of interest.


The word "guide" was incorporated into (Middle) English via Old French "guider" which meant "to guide, lead, conduct" it was originally taken by Old French from Frankish "*witan" meaning "show the way" (compare modern Dutch "weten") from Proto-Germanic "*wit-" meaning "to know" (compare Old English "witan" meaning "to see"). The French word influenced by Old Provencal "guidar" meaning "guide or leader" is from the same source.

Tourist guide

A person who guides visitors in the language of their choice and interprets the cultural and natural heritage of an area. The guide will normally possess an area-specific qualification usually issued and/or recognised by the appropriate authority. Tourist Guides are representatives of the cities, regions and countries for which they are qualified. It depends largely on them if visitors feel welcome, want to stay longer or decide to come back. They therefore contribute considerably to the perception of the destination. Tourist Guides are able to help travellers understand the culture of the region visited and the way of life of its inhabitants. They have a particular role on the one hand to promote the cultural and natural heritage whilst on the other hand to help ensure its sustainability by making visitors aware of its importance and vulnerability. [EN 13809:2003]

Mountain guide

Mountain guides are those employed in mountaineering; these are not merely to show the way but stand in the position of professional climbers with an expert knowledge of rock and snowcraft, which they impart to the amateur, at the same time assuring the safety of the climbing party. This professional class of guides arose in the middle of the 19th century when Alpine climbing became recognized as a sport.
In Switzerland, the central committee of the Swiss Alpine Club issues a guides’ tariff which fixes the charges for guides and porters; there are three sections, for the Valais and Vaudois Alps, for the Bernese Oberland, and for central and eastern Switzerland.
In Chamonix (France)a statue has been raised to Jacques Balmat, who was the first to climb Mont Blanc in 1786. Other notable European guides are Auguste Balmat, Michel Cros, Maquignay, J. A. Carrel, who accompanied Edward Whymper to the Andes, the brothers Lauener, Christian Almer and Jakob and Melchior Anderegg.

Hunting guide

Guides have been employed by those seeking to hunt, or sometimes only to photograph or see, wildlife, especially big game animals in the wild.

Metaphysical guides

Trip sitter

A psychedelic guide is someone who guides a drug user's experiences as opposed to a sitter who merely remains present, ready to discourage bad trips and handle emergencies but not otherwise getting involved. Guides are more common amongst spiritual users of entheogens. Psychedelic guides were strongly encouraged by Timothy Leary and the other authors of The Psychedelic Experience: A Guide Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Trip sitters are also mentioned in the Responsible Drug User's Oath.

Guided meditation

Military use of guides and development of Guides Regiments

In European wars up to the time of the French Revolution, the absence of large-scale detailed maps made local guides almost essential to the direction of military operations. In the 18th century the stricter organization of military resources led in various countries to the special training of guide officers (called Feldjäger, and considered as general staff officers in the Prussian army), who had the primary duty of finding, and if necessary establishing, routes across country.
The necessity for such guides died away when adequate surveys (in the preparation of which guide officers were, at any rate in the Kingdom of Prussia, freely employed) became available. The genesis of the “ Guides” regiments is perhaps to be found in a short-lived Corps of Guides formed by Napoleon in Italy in 1796, which appears to have been a personal escort or body guard composed of men who knew the country.
Following the unification of Italy in 1870-71, the new national army included a regiment designated as Guides - the 19th Cavalleggieri (Light Horse). This was disbanded shortly after the end of World War I, at a time of reductions in the Italian cavalry.
In the Belgian army the two Guides regiments constituted part of the light cavalry. Until the outbreak of World War I these units were characterised by their green, yellow and crimson uniforms. As such the Belgian Guides came to correspond to the Guard cavalry of other nations. They served with panache (and still in green and crimson) during the German invasion of August 1914.
In the Swiss army prior to 1914 the squadrons of blue uniformed “Guides” acted as divisional cavalry. In this role these light cavalry units would have been called upon, on occasion, to lead columns. They were distinct from the green coated Dragoon Regiments who made up the line cavalry.
The “Queen’s own Corps of Guides” of the British Indian Army consisted of a unique combination of infantry companies and cavalry squadrons. After World War I the infantry element was incorporated in the 12th Frontier Force Regiment and the Guides Cavalry formed a separate regiment. The Corps of Guides were the first military force to adopt khaki as a service dress, in 1849.
In drill, a “guide“ is an officer or non-commissioned officer who regulates the direction and pace of movements.

Other Usages

In the Indian Academia the word guide is referred to the person who helps prepare a Doctorate or Ph.D. thesis.


Original text from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.
guide in Danish: Guide
guide in Spanish: Guía de turismo
guide in Swedish: Guide

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Baedeker, Dutch uncle, Gyropilot, Masan, Polonius, abecedarian, accompany, admonisher, advise, adviser, advisor, advocate, air hole, allegorist, ancestor, ancestral spirits, angel, annotator, announcer, antecedent, apparition, appearance, armhole, arrow, astral, astral spirit, attend, attendant godling, automatic pilot, avant-garde, backseat driver, banshee, be the bellwether, beacon, bell cow, bellwether, blaze, blaze the trail, blowhole, boatheader, boatsteerer, break the trail, brief, broaden the mind, buccinator, bullet-hole, bunghole, bushwhacker, buttinsky, call the shots, catechize, certified teacher, chaperon, chart a course, chute, cicerone, civilize, clarifier, coach, commentator, compass needle, compendium, cond, conduct, conductor, confer, confidant, conn, consult with, consultant, contrive, control, convoy, counsel, counselor, courier, cowherd, coxswain, cringle, criterion, critic, cryptanalyst, cryptographer, cryptologist, daemon, deadeye, dean, decide, decoder, definer, demon, demonstrate, demonstrator, demythologizer, departed spirit, determine, diaskeuast, direct, direction, direction post, director, disembodied spirit, dispose, docent, doctor, dominie, don, doyen, dragoman, drive, drover, duppy, dybbuk, eaves trough, edify, editor, educate, educationist, educator, eidolon, emendator, emender, enchiridion, engineer, enlighten, escort, esquire, euhemerist, example, exegesist, exegete, exegetist, exemplar, expert, explainer, explicator, explorer, exponent, expositor, expounder, eye, eyelet, fairy godmother, familiar, familiar spirit, fellow, finger post, fist, forebear, foregoer, forerun, forerunner, form, front runner, frontiersman, fugleman, gasket, genius, genius domus, genius loci, get ahead of, get before, ghost, give instruction, give lessons in, go before, go-between, goatherd, good angel, good genius, govern, grateful dead, grommet, ground, groundbreaker, guard, guardian, guardian angel, guardian spirit, guideboard, guidebook, guidepost, guider, guiding light, guru, gutter, hand, handbook, handle, hant, harbinger, haunt, have the conn, have the start, head, head the line, helm, helmsman, herald, herd, herdsman, hermeneut, hold the reins, hour hand, household gods, ideal, idolum, illumine, immateriality, incorporeal, incorporeal being, incorporeity, index, index finger, influence, inform, innovator, inspiration, instruct, instructor, interpreter, introduce, invisible helper, keyhole, kibitz, kibitzer, knothole, landmark, lap, lares and penates, lares compitales, lares familiaris, lares permarini, lares praestites, lares viales, larva, lead, lead runner, lead the dance, lead the way, leader, lemures, lexicographer, light, light the way, lodestar, loop, loophole, lubber line, maestro, manage, manes, maneuver, manhole, manual, marker, marshal, master, materialization, meddle, meddler, melamed, mentor, mercury, messenger, metaphrast, milepost, ministering angel, minute hand, model, monitor, mousehole, mullah, navigate, navigator, needle, nestor, numen, oneirocritic, oni, open the eyes, operate, order, orienter, outstrip, oversee, pace, pandit, paraphrast, pathfinder, pedagogist, pedagogue, peephole, penates, penstock, pentrough, phantasm, phantasma, phantom, pigeonhole, pilot, pinhole, pioneer, placket, placket hole, point, pointer, poltergeist, porthole, precede, precedent, preceptist, preceptor, precursor, predecessor, prescribe, presence, professor, propose, punch-hole, pundit, rabbi, recommend, reeducate, regulate, revenant, river pilot, route, rule, run, scholiast, school, schoolkeeper, schoolmaster, schoolteacher, scout, see, set right, set the pace, shade, shadow, shape, shape a course, sharpen the wits, shepherd, shoot, show, show how, show the way, shrouded spirit, sign, signal, signboard, signpost, spearhead, special providence, specter, spectral ghost, spiracle, spirit, spook, sprite, squire, stand first, standard, starets, steer, steerer, steersman, stormy petrel, submit, suggest, superintend, supervise, sway, take out, take the helm, take the lead, tap, teach, teach a lesson, teach the rudiments, teacher, textual critic, theophany, totem, tour director, tour guide, trailblazer, trailbreaker, train, translator, trough, tutelar god, tutelary, tutor, unsubstantiality, usher, usher in, vade mecum, vanguard, vaunt-courier, vent, venthole, vision, voortrekker, wait on, walking dead man, wandering soul, wear the pants, wraith, zombie
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