usher


usher
[14] An usher is etymologically a ‘doorkeeper’. The word comes via Anglo-Norman usser from medieval Latin ūstārius, an alteration of classical Latin ōstārius ‘door-keeper’. This was derived from ōstium ‘door’, which in turn was based on ōs ‘mouth’ (source of English oral). The usher’s job-description gradually broadened out from standing at the door to accompanying visitors inside and showing them to their places, which led in the 16th century to the emergence of the verb usher. => ORAL
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   The word came into English from Old French (and modern) huissier, 'doorkeeper,' ultimately from Latin ostium, 'door.' Ushers now have many functions but doorkeeping is still one of them.

The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins. 2013.

Synonyms:

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