men·​tor | \ ˈmen-ˌtȯr How to pronounce mentor (audio) , -tər\

Definition of mentor

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 capitalized : a friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of Odysseus' son Telemachus
2a : a trusted counselor or guide a mentor who, because he is detached and disinterested, can hold up a mirror to us— P. W. Keve
b : tutor, coach The student sought a mentor in chemistry.


mentored; mentoring; mentors

Definition of mentor (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to serve as a mentor for : tutor


geographical name
Men·​tor | \ ˈmen-tər How to pronounce Mentor (audio) \

Definition of Mentor (Entry 3 of 3)

city in northeastern Ohio northeast of Cleveland population 47,159

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Other Words from mentor


mentorship \ ˈmen-​ˌtȯr-​ˌship How to pronounce mentorship (audio) , -​tər-​ \ noun

Synonyms for mentor

Synonyms: Verb

coach, counsel, guide, lead, pilot, shepherd, show, tutor

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Did You Know?


We acquired "mentor" from the literature of ancient Greece. In Homer's epic The Odyssey, Odysseus was away from home fighting and journeying for 20 years. During that time, Telemachus, the son he left as a babe in arms, grew up under the supervision of Mentor, an old and trusted friend. When the goddess Athena decided it was time to complete the education of young Telemachus, she visited him disguised as Mentor and they set out together to learn about his father. Today, we use the word mentor for anyone who is a positive, guiding influence in another (usually younger) person's life.

Examples of mentor in a Sentence


After college, her professor became her close friend and mentor. He needed a mentor to teach him about the world of politics. We volunteer as mentors to disadvantaged children. young boys in need of mentors


The young intern was mentored by the country's top heart surgeon. Our program focuses on mentoring teenagers.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Much like one of his primary mentors, tenor sax master George Coleman, the 50-year-old New Yorker combines extraordinary fluency at every tempo with a clear, rounded tone and an expansive harmonic palette. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, "Sax man Eric Alexander brings his gorgeous tones to SF Bay Area shows," 18 June 2019 Moore began meeting with his mentor, David Vesper, University's assistant head of school. Matthew Vantryon, Indianapolis Star, "University won a state title for their 240-pound 'teddy bear' who didn't see a pitch all year.," 18 June 2019 Musician, entrepreneur, mentor, partner and most importantly…father. Essence, "Lauren London Remembers Nipsey Hussle, The Father," 17 June 2019 In two papers published in August 1969, Mr Merton and his mentor, Paul Samuelson, showed that time horizon should make no difference to portfolio choice. The Economist, "Robert Merton and the effect of time on portfolio choice," 15 June 2019 Senior management is assessible to all levels of employees and actively mentors, cultivates and develops the next level of talent in order to advance their careers. Leigh Farr, azcentral, "MEDIUM COMPANY RANKINGS:," 13 June 2019 Experience working with young people as a teacher, camp counselor, trip leader for another organization, mentor, tutor, or other related experience. National Geographic, "Trip Leader Opportunities," 12 June 2019 Izzo long ago surpassed his mentor Jud Heathcote’s previous school record of three Big Ten basketball titles, and Izzo now has nine overall. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Tom Izzo milestones could launch big sports year," 9 June 2019 The job of a faculty dean is part intellectual mentor, part den mother. Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times, "New Wave of Student Activism Presses Colleges on Sexual Assault," 8 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In the fifth year of this program, six new choreographers have been mentored all year by Nai-Ni Chen, Carolyn Dorfman, and Randy James. Ellen Dunkel,, "Hot dates in dance: A BalletX ‘Little Prince,’ rising-star choreographers, and offseason work for Pa. Ballet dancers," 5 June 2019 Throughout the spring semester, students are mentored by the industry's leading designers which are assigned to each student by specialization. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "Watch FIT's Future of Fashion Show Debuting The Next Generation of Top Designers," 9 May 2019 Gillespie and his team will mentor the chefs, focusing on the food and service. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "Crossroads food hall signs 5 restaurant tenants, from pizza to Korean street food | The Kansas City Star," 23 May 2018 Mountain Madness Trail Running Races, which hosts the Fat Dog 120 Trail Race in British Columbia, Canada, hosts a dozen trail work days every year for races and has trained and mentored volunteers on special trail projects. Stephanie Case, Outside Online, "A Response from a Proud “Lazy Parasite” Trail Runner," 4 June 2019 Expats run dozens of charitable groups, mentoring Mexican students, helping provide clean drinking water, serving meals to poor abuelitas. Mary Beth Sheridan, The Seattle Times, "The little-noticed surge across the U.S.-Mexico border: Americans heading south," 21 May 2019 Of all the fellow quarterbacks that have mentored Josh Rosen, the Cardinals’ new quarterback of the future, one seems to have found a special place in his heart. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals rookie QB Josh Rosen has a mentor and new friend in Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers," 27 Apr. 2018 In both weekend concerts here, Ling will conduct pieces by the iconic Leonard Bernstein, who mentored Ling for many years. Beth Wood,, "Welcome back, Maestro: Jahja Ling returns to San Diego Symphony as conductor laureate," 19 Apr. 2018 Signing him with a plan to mentor a rookie tight end actually makes a lot of sense. Josh Katzenstein,, "New Orleans Saints Mock Draft 4.0: Back to the top tight end," 13 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mentor.' 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 mentor


1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1918, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mentor


as name borrowed from Latin Mentōr, borrowed from Greek Méntōr; as generic noun borrowed from French mentor, after Mentor, character in the novel Les aventures de Télémaque (1699) by the French cleric and writer François Fénelon (1651-1715), based on characters in the Odyssey

Note: In Fénelon's work Mentor is a principal character, and his speeches and advice to Telemachus during their travels constitute much of the book's substance.


derivative of mentor entry 1

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Statistics for mentor

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mentor

The first known use of mentor was in 1616

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More Definitions for mentor



English Language Learners Definition of mentor

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person



English Language Learners Definition of mentor (Entry 2 of 2)

: to teach or give advice or guidance to (someone, such as a less experienced person or a child) : to act as a mentor for (someone)

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More from Merriam-Webster on mentor

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mentor

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mentor

Spanish Central: Translation of mentor

Nglish: Translation of mentor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mentor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mentor

Comments on mentor

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


to take the place or position of

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