HOST, (i) (Through the O. Fr. oste or hoste, modern hdte, from Lat. hospes, a guest or host; hospes being probably from an original hostipes, one who feeds a stranger or enemy, from hostis and the root of pascere), one who receives another into his house and provides him with lodging and entertainment, especially one who does this in return for payment. The word is thus transferred, in biology, to an animal or plant upon which a parasite lives. (2) (From Lat. hostis, a stranger or enemy; in Med. Latin a military expedition), a very large gathering of men, armed for war, an army, and so used generally of any multitude. In biblical use the word is applied to the company of angels in heaven; or to the Sun, Moon and stars, the " hosts of heaven," and also to translate " Jehovah Sabaoth," the Lord God of hosts, the lord of the armies of Israel or of the hosts of heaven. (3) (From Lat. hostia, a victim or sacrifice), the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood in the Eucharist, more particularly the consecrated wafer used in the service of the mass in the Roman .Church (see EUCHARIST).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)