gu·​ru | \ ˈgu̇r-(ˌ)ü How to pronounce guru (audio) , 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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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 Alabama offensive whiz Steve Sarkisian and LSU defensive guru Dave Aranda. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Oct. 2021 Though Coryell’s public persona was that of a mad football scientist and Madden became known as the NFL guru who could relate to anyone, Madden said Coryell taught him humility and how to see the big picture in human relations. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Dec. 2021 Before becoming famous as a business guru, Stephen Covey studied business, education, and theology, earning an MBA from Harvard and a doctorate from Brigham Young. Mark Nevins, Forbes, 22 Dec. 2021 Sullivan spent three seasons with the Bucks as an assistant to Mike Budenholzer and is well-regarded as a shooting guru. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Aug. 2021 However, 2021 will challenge his reputation as a quarterback guru. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 22 July 2021 The show stars Lily Collins as a naïve American social media guru relocating to the city of lights despite being utterly clueless about the language and culture. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, 13 July 2021 Ojeley was brought in as a poor-mans replacement for P.J. Tucker as the Bucks chose not to pay the defensive guru in free agency. Brian Sampson, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 The draft guru breaks down the 10-best players at each position. Joe Harrington, The Enquirer, 10 Dec. 2021

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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Last Updated

18 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Guru.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on guru Encyclopedia article about guru


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