guru

noun
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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Economists, business gurus and blue-chip CEOs like those who make up America’s Business Roundtable confirmed them in their view. The Economist, "Big business is beginning to accept broader social responsibilities," 22 Aug. 2019 Pupil and defensive whiz, in his very first game as a head coach, meets teacher and offensive guru, in the beginning of his hotly billed second season. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "The Franks Connection: How a Brothers' Bond Aided the Breakthrough Florida's QB Needed," 20 Aug. 2019 In a crowded Democratic race, with lawmakers, mayors, spiritual gurus, entrepreneurs, and a former punk rocker vying for the presidency, Sestak stands out for his experience and attention to foreign policy issues. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Meet the intriguing presidential candidate you haven’t seen on the debate stage," 17 Aug. 2019 The presence of the other six candidates on the stage, from tech executive Andrew Yang to spirituality guru Marianne Williamson, meant the night offered something for everyone. oregonlive.com, "Who won the second 2020 Democratic debate? Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg ... and policy wonks," 27 June 2019 Is our girl Ari on the brink of becoming a major beauty guru like Rihanna? Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande's 'Cloud' Wins Fragrance of the Year Award," 6 June 2019 Countless celebrities, political leaders, advice gurus like Heloise and Peggy Post, and famous chefs have been featured in the magazine. Good Housekeeping, "The History of the Good Housekeeping Institute," 31 Oct. 2015 That means self-help guru Marianne Williamson may not be there to warn about dark psychic forces. Jazmine Ulloa, BostonGlobe.com, "Could those unwieldy Democratic debates boost Trump’s cause?," 1 Aug. 2019 Self-help guru Marianne Williamson has been the topic of many late-night quips about her new-age style. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Late-night TV's best jokes about Tuesday's Democratic debate in Detroit," 31 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about guru

Dictionary Entries near guru

gurry

gurs

gurt

guru

Gurunsi

guruship

Gurwitsch ray

Statistics for guru

Last Updated

5 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for guru

The first known use of guru was in 1613

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for guru

guru

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guru

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guru

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about guru

Comments on guru

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

WORD OF THE DAY

readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!