1250–1300; Middle English (h)oste (noun) < Middle French < Latin hospit- (stem of hospes) host, guest, stranger, perhaps < *hosti-pot(i)s or *hos-pot(i)s, equivalent to hos(ti)- combining form of hostis stranger (see host2) + -pot(i)s, akin to potis having the power to, posse to be able (see potent1) (hence, “one granting hospitality, one in charge of guests”); compare, with different initial elements, Greek despótēs master, despot, Lithuanian viẽšpats lord

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