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guest worker

Definition of Guest Worker

(noun) An individual with temporary permission to live and work in another country.

Example of Guest Worker

  • Domestic helpers such as house keepers and au pairs or migrant farm workers.

Guest Worker Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: guest work·er

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /gEst wUHR-kuhr/
  • British English – /gEst wUHR-kuh/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /gɛst ˈwɜrkər/
  • British English – /gɛst ˈwɜːkə/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: guest workers
  • The term guest worker is typically applied to people who have a temporary visa granted by a legal authority, not someone who is in a country illegally.
  • A type of individual.
  • Also called migrant worker.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Cite the Definition of Guest Worker

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “guest worker.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved February 20, 2020 (https://sociologydictionary.org/guest-worker/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

guest worker. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/guest-worker/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “guest worker.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed February 20, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/guest-worker/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“guest worker.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/guest-worker/>.