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

Essential Meaning of mentor

: someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person After college, her professor became her close friend and mentor. He needed a mentor to teach him about the world of politics. See More ExamplesWe volunteer as mentors to/of disadvantaged children. young boys in need of mentorsHide

Full 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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Synonyms for mentor

Synonyms: Verb

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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

Noun 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 Verb 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 Green’s resume with Phoenix and Golden State gives the declaration a certain believability, especially with mentor Mike D’Antoni tagging along as a consultant. Christopher Dodson, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Leela picks up on problems with a surgeon who is also Bell’s mentor. Washington Post, 12 Oct. 2021 As a recipient, Abrams joins a long list of conducting luminaries such as Marin Alsop (Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Jaap van Zweden, Gianandrea Noseda and Abrams’ own mentor, Michael Tilson Thomas. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 12 Oct. 2021 Along with 16 designers, the series features returning mentor Christian Siriano, and judges Nina Garcia, Brandon Maxwell and Elaine Welteroth. oregonlive, 10 Oct. 2021 Additionally, while more than 90% of Latino professionals with strong accents reported having a mentor/sponsor who is advocating for their career, only 35% of Latino professionals without accents reported the same. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 6 Oct. 2021 Nominated startups will compete for the opportunity to pitch in front of Tech Coast Angels, get free mentor sessions with LogicBoost Labs and a fellowship to Founders Institute Program. Mike Freeman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Oct. 2021 Dickie Moltisanti dies before his son Christopher can know him, after corrupting Tony, the young man who will become his son Christopher’s surrogate father and mentor. Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture, 5 Oct. 2021 One of his regular customers was Jack Drake, the bass player for Ernest Tubb and his Texas Troubadours; Mr. Drake became an early mentor. New York Times, 28 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Singleton had begun to mentor her after being her instructor for two classes during the pandemic. Briana Rice, The Enquirer, 21 Sep. 2021 Hafley is known for his ability to mentor and develop defensive backs, and the Eagles have a host of them ready to contribute., 2 Sep. 2021 Judges celebrity stylist Mariel Haenn, writer and consultant Chrissy Rutherford, Executive Director of the FSF Peter Arnold, President of Alrosa USA Rebecca Foerster, and Coco Rocha, will also mentor Sarah throughout the design process. Olivia Perez, Forbes, 21 Sep. 2021 For the show, Oliver will mentor contestants and share his knowledge and experience gained while developing 25 cookbooks of his own. Jamie Lang, Variety, 6 Sep. 2021 Coaches also mentor students, helping with far more than classwork. Kathleen Toner, CNN, 20 May 2021 Floyd would mentor some of her students and counsel Cofield on how to quell violent feuds. Maya Rao, Star Tribune, 23 Apr. 2021 Even after leaving the House, Pudlin continued to serve as a devoted — and, at times, cantankerous — mentor to up-and-coming state Democrats. Eliza Fawcett,, 20 Mar. 2021 Kotek would mentor Bynum to become speaker at some point. oregonlive, 17 Nov. 2020

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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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mentor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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