Is your hospitality generous, gracious or lavish? Tim Bowen looks at the collocates of this friendly word.

Hospitality is defined as ‘generous behaviour towards visitors and guests’. 

Apart from being generous, hospitality can also be lavish, as in ‘The people of the region are renowned for their lavish hospitality’. It can also be kind, friendly, genuine, gracious or warm, as in ‘We were impressed by the beauty of the country and the warm hospitality of its people’. It can also be excellent, great, superb or wonderful, as in ‘At the end of our trip we were treated to some wonderful hospitality which will long remain in the memory’. 

If a particular region or country is well-known for its hospitality, this can be described as traditional or legendary, as in ‘Indian hospitality is both legendary and gracious’. 

Hospitality can be extended, given, offered, provided or shown, as in ‘We were shown some extraordinary hospitality during our stay on the island’. 

Hospitality can be accepted, appreciated, enjoyed, experienced or received, as in ‘In the last week of the tour, you will experience traditional Balkan hospitality’ or ‘It was difficult not to appreciate the genuine hospitality we were given by the locals’. 

You may also wish to return or repay hospitality that has previously been extended to you, as in ‘Henry repaid their hospitality by inviting them to stay at his house in France’. 

Hospitality may now also refer to the practice of a company entertaining its customers, usually at a sporting event, for example, football or rugby matches. Such hospitality is described as corporate, and can take place before the match (pre-match hospitality) or at any time before, during or after the match (match-day hospitality).