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

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

Carnivore enthusiasts tout the life-changing benefits of their diet and lifestyle demands, which includes sole dependence on beef, water, and salt (plus bourbon, according the diet’s guru, Mikhaila Petersen). Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Best (And Worst!) Diets of 2019, According to a Registered Dietitian," 10 Dec. 2018 Men's Bomber Jacket $70 Built for the modern style-guru, this jacket has compartments for everything from drinks and sunglasses to iPads and passports. Popular Mechanics, "20 Great Black Friday Deals From the PopMech Store," 23 Nov. 2018 Our TechHive colleague and smart home guru, Christopher Null, didn’t really like the third-generation August Smart Lock, giving it 2.5 out of five stars. Ian Paul, PCWorld, "The most affordable August Smart Lock is $50 cheaper today," 27 Aug. 2018 Fortune’s Brian O’Keefe wrote an extraordinary profile of the guru in 2014 that flagged his growing influence in C-Suites. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: Tony Robbins Apologizes for His #MeToo Remarks," 9 Apr. 2018 Marshmello stands, unmasked, in a maroon sweatshirt and Off-White Nikes alongside his manager, marketing guru -- and dance executive of the year -- Moe Shalizi, who sports Louis Vuitton sandals and a collection of clinking gold chains. Matt Medved, Billboard, "How Marshmello and Manager Moe Shalizi Built Dance Music's Most Irresistible Brand," 22 Mar. 2018 The iconic singer is playing the role of the iconic chicken guru in a new series of ads released this week to promote the chain's Smoky Mountain BBQ fried chicken. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "See Reba McEntire dressed up as Colonel Sanders in new Kentucky Fried Chicken ads," 26 Jan. 2018 Will McClay, the Cowboys’ senior director of college and pro personnel, is widely respected as one of the top talent gurus in the league and his name has emerged in the Houston Texans’ general manager search. Clarence E. Hill Jr. And Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Texans granted permission to speak to Cowboys’ McClay about GM job; no interview set," 7 Jan. 2018 The trend started last year, with beauty gurus brushing and waxing their eyebrows to look like branches, setting them with wax, and attaching baubles, glitter, and even stars to resemble the most festive of holidays. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Christmas Tree Eyebrows Are Taking Over Instagram," 27 Nov. 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.

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







Gurwitsch ray

Statistics for guru

Last Updated

7 Feb 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



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on guru

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with guru

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for guru 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).


irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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