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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Synonyms for mentor

Synonyms: Verb

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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

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 To support the students, the mentor will (in the first year) provide weekly support for planning and preparation. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "All I want for Christmas is an awesome new curriculum," 29 Dec. 2020 The Missouri Tigers and the Auburn Tigers never had the chance to play each other with the mentor and mentee battling from opposite sides of the field. Giana Han, al, "Kirby Smart, Eliah Drinkwitz share respect for Gus Malzahn, comment on firing," 15 Dec. 2020 The quadrangular was dubbed the Molenda and Murphy Invitational, also named after Terry Murphy, the former Brother Rice mentor and legendary St. Laurence coach. Jeff Vorva,, "Boys cross country notes: Don Molenda describes first race on Brother Rice’s campus since 1988 as ‘pretty neat’," 8 Oct. 2020 But another really important component of it is the bond between the mentor, the, that is, the highly skilled workers providing the training and that young person. Salena Zito, Washington Examiner, "Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia boosts manufacturing apprenticeships," 1 Oct. 2020 Clark moved, first to Wisconsin, to attend college near an older friend who was a mentor. Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune, "Diversity efforts expanding in Minnesota technology," 19 Dec. 2020 So the Warriors need Green, beyond his own defensive responsibilities, to become more of a mentor than ever this season, counseling and cajoling with vigor. Ron Kroichick,, "Draymond Green’s task: Transform Warriors into a game-changing defensive team," 19 Dec. 2020 Promoted to the 53-man roster soon after that, the 32-year-old Bryant has been a mentor in the locker room and contributed four catches for 28 yards in three games (all against Tennessee on Nov. 22). Mark Heim |, al, "Cowboys vs. Ravens live stream (12/7): How to watch NFL Week 13 online, TV, time," 8 Dec. 2020 Promoted to the 53-man roster soon after that, the 32-year-old Bryant has been a mentor in the locker room and contributed four catches for 28 yards in three games (all against Tennessee on Nov. 22). Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys free live stream Tuesday night: How to watch football game (12/8/20)," 8 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Emeril Lagasse Foundation will award more than $240,000 to 11 nonprofit organizations in support of initiatives that mentor and help youth learn culinary skills and nutritional and arts education., "Gambit's Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down for Jan. 5," 4 Jan. 2021 As Howard blossomed into one of the best high school players in the nation, Kirksey was an assistant coach who helped mentor Howard and guide him through his recruitment. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball mourns death of Donnie Kirksey, Juwan Howard mentor," 29 Dec. 2020 In addition to the extension of her deal with Sony/ATV, Hill will recruit and mentor new songwriters through a publishing collaboration with the company. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Publishing Briefs: Tate McRae Signs With Sony/ATV, Reservoir Gives 'Lady Marmalade' Co-Writer a Go," 17 Dec. 2020 Little more than a week into practice, Bazemore has started to emerge as a go-to mentor for young players, one of the team’s better perimeter defenders and a reliable 3-point shooter. Connor Letourneau,, "Kent Bazemore’s career was on life support a year ago. Now Warriors need him to lead," 17 Dec. 2020 Perez came in an hour early each day — arriving at 6 a.m. for his 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. shift — to mentor the new hires and hear about their problems dealing with summer heat, rain, snarling dogs and just the grind of delivering tons of mail. Bruce Selcraig,, "San Antonio letter carrier’s retirement cheered by neighbors who were ‘more than addresses’," 1 Dec. 2020 The prosecutor, in response, offered more precise details about the relationships, saying Cosby used his fame and fortune to mentor the women and then took advantage of it. CBS News, "Pennsylvania Supreme Court hears arguments in Bill Cosby appeal," 1 Dec. 2020 For the past five years, The Rhoades School’s middle schoolers have volunteered at Casa de Amistad to mentor their young students. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "North County School News, Dec. 10," 10 Dec. 2020 He’s partnered with Georgia to mentor athletes and help with social justice and charity initiatives. Emmanuel Morgan Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Todd Gurley finally gets to play in the stadium he ‘helped create’," 9 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for mentor

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The first known use of mentor was in 1616

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mentor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for mentor


How to pronounce Mentor (audio)

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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