gu·ru | \ˈgu̇r-(ˌ)ü, ˈgü-(ˌ)rü also gə-ˈrü\
plural gurus

Definition of guru 

1 : a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism

2a : a teacher and especially intellectual guide in matters of fundamental concern has been a guru to many young writers

b : one who is an acknowledged leader or chief proponent became the guru of the movement

c : a person with knowledge or expertise : expert a computer guru

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Did You Know?

In Hinduism, a guru is a personal spiritual teacher. In ancient India, knowledge of the Vedas (a body of liturgical literature) was transmitted orally from guru to pupil. The rise of the bhakti movement, which emphasizes the love of devotees for a personal god, further increased the importance of gurus, who were often looked on as living embodiments of spiritual truth and were identified with the deity. Gurus prescribe spiritual disciplines to their devotees, who follow their dictates in a tradition of service and obedience. Men or women may be gurus, though generally only men have established lineages.

Examples of guru in a Sentence

He has been a guru to many young writers. She's a self-proclaimed financial guru. Fitness gurus call it the hottest new exercise trend of the year.
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Recent Examples on the Web

This colorful bohemian family has a habit of picking up fellow travelers, including a randy professor (played by Wallace Shawn) and a pansexual guru (David La Haye). Noel Murray,, "Messy comedy-drama 'Another Kind of Wedding' mixes irritating and charming moments," 10 May 2018 Robinson, the clean-climbing guru, first attempted to climb Denali in 1975. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Climbers’ human waste is making a Denali glacier toxic. The park service is demanding change.," 24 Apr. 2018 Trump's new economic guru: That guy from the channel with the stock ticker After President Trump debuted tariffs that proved unpopular even among Republicans, his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, dropped him. Josh Hafner, USA TODAY, "OnPolitics Today: America's future walks out," 14 Mar. 2018 Our own tech guru, Elon Musk, had even dreamed up fantastical, sci-fi miniature submarines to save the kids (although these were not used, ultimately). Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Thai Cave Rescue Cannot Save Us From National Shame," 11 July 2018 Welcome to our live chat on all things football recruiting with our resident guru, Free Press special writer Sean Merriman. Sean Merriman, Detroit Free Press, "Recruiting chat replay: These 2019 prospects have highest ceiling," 9 July 2018 That is especially good news for Pixar, which lost its top creative guru earlier this month when Disney said co-founder John Lasseter would leave the company at the end of the year. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "‘Incredibles 2’ Sees Incredible Opening Weekend," 17 June 2018 Well, spend much time around the Padres, and the question becomes what the pitchers would do without their guru/sensei/soothsayer and counselor/mentor/teacher/friend. Kevin Acee,, "Padres pitchers positive Darren Balsley is the best," 16 June 2018 Instagram has completely changed our industry in the way that your beauty gurus aren’t just the celeb stylists anymore. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Five on Five: Get to Know the People Behind Five of Instagram's Most Colorful Beauty Accounts," 11 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'guru.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of guru

1613, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for guru

ultimately from Sanskrit guru, from guru, adjective, heavy, venerable — more at grieve

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Dictionary Entries near guru







Gurwitsch ray

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for guru

The first known use of guru was in 1613

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More Definitions for guru



English Language Learners Definition of guru

: a religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism

: a teacher or guide that you trust

: a person who has a lot of experience in or knowledge about a particular subject

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guru Encyclopedia article about guru

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What made you want to look up guru? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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