Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

guide - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     guide pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    a book about a city, country, or area

    The Complete Guide to Norway

    travel guide:

    It is worth buying a good travel guide.

    1. a.
      a book about a particular subject or type of activity

      Get the booklet Income Tax: A Guide for Married Couples.

      guide to:

      a comprehensive guide to the new simplified divorce procedure

      I bought a copy of A Beginner’s Guide to Flower Arranging.

      step-by-step guide:

      See our step-by-step guide on page 17.

  2. 2
    something that helps you to make a judgment about something
    guide to/as to:

    The doctor will give you a guide as to how much you should weigh.

    good/reliable guide:

    A plant’s leaves are a good guide to its health.

    rough guide:

    Opinion polls only serve as a rough guide to how people really vote.

  3. 3
    a piece of equipment that helps you to find the correct place or amount for something

    a cutting guide

    This chart can act as a quick reference guide.

    use something as a guide:

    Draw up the plan using this pencil outline as a guide.

  4. 4
    tourism someone whose job is to look after a group of people who are visiting a place and give them information about it

    Your guide will explain what the different machines were used for.

    1. a.
      someone who shows you which direction to walk or travel in, especially as their job
      mountain guide:

      She’s working as a mountain guide in the Swiss Alps.

    See also tour guide
  5. 5
    someone who helps you to decide what to do by giving you advice or by giving you a good example to follow

    She was his guide and his inspiration.

  6. 6


    old-fashioned a girl who is a member of the Guides, an organization that encourages girls aged ten to 14 years to learn practical skills and help other people
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play