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

For panel member Yannick Benjamin, a sommelier with a physical disability, its acting as a mentor to other sommeliers while getting ready to open his first restaurant. Fortune, "What I Learned in Inclusion Training at the World’s Top Cocktail Festival," 10 Aug. 2019 Eppler, who counted Michael as a mentor, pondered that question with Trout. Peter Abraham,, "Will Mookie Betts go the same route as Mike Trout?," 10 Aug. 2019 In the meantime, Joyner is taking his role as a mentor seriously. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Raiders camp Day 5: Hunter Renfrow-Lamarcus Joyner a game within a game," 1 Aug. 2019 Siriano, a Project Runway winner who now serves as a mentor on the Bravo reality competition series, was also in attendance and posed alongside Brooks. Dave Quinn,, "Danielle Brooks Debuts Baby Bump in Sparkling Gown on Orange Is the New Black Red Carpet," 26 July 2019 In Sacramento, where the front office prioritized wings Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes and Bogdan Bogdanovic, Burks settled in as a respected mentor to younger teammates. Connor Letourneau,, "Alec Burks looks to maximize opportunity with Warriors," 12 July 2019 And the publisher of the paper, Phil Merrill, took a special interest in me and served as a mentor to me, helped me apply and ultimately work through a graduate program at the University of Maryland. CBS News, "Transcript: Ellen McCarthy talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 10 July 2019 Servello worked for and with Moran several times over roughly a decade, with Moran serving as a mentor to Servello. NBC News, "In surprise move, admiral tapped to lead U.S. Navy declines job, retires instead," 8 July 2019 The pair first met on the set of American Idol in 2006 when McPhee was a contestant and Foster appeared as a guest mentor. Mitchell Peters, Billboard, "Katharine McPhee and David Foster Marry in London," 29 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For the next 12 months, the students who participated will be mentored by female Nokia Software employees working in STEM careers. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Week at Nokia caps Tech camp for Bay Area teens," 11 Aug. 2019 Drawing upon his own story, Mr. Williams now mentors minority students hoping to go to college, combat veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress, ex-offenders trying to make a new start and other paraplegics struggling with their disabilities. Neal Hirschfeld, New York Times, "He Was Shot and Paralyzed 37 Years Ago. That’s Not How the Story Ends.," 2 Aug. 2019 Prince was mentored by two of the theater's most experienced professionals — director George Abbott and producer Robert E. Griffith. Mark Kennedy, azcentral, "Harold Prince, Broadway legend who steered groundbreaking shows like 'Evita,' has died," 31 July 2019 Prince was mentored by two of the theater's most experienced professionals — director George Abbott and producer Robert E. Griffith. Mark Kennedy, USA TODAY, "Hal Prince, titan of Broadway as director and producer, has died at 91," 31 July 2019 Prince was mentored by two of the theater's most experienced professionals — director George Abbott and producer Robert E. Griffith., "Broadway director and producer Hal Prince dead," 31 July 2019 Prince was mentored by two of the theater's most experienced professionals - director George Abbott and producer Robert E. Griffith. CBS News, "Hal Prince, Broadway legend behind "Phantom" and "Sweeney Todd," has died at 91," 31 July 2019 Prince was mentored by two of the theater's most experienced professionals — director George Abbott and producer Robert E. Griffith. NBC News, "Hal Prince, Broadway director and producer with record 21 Tony Awards, is dead," 31 July 2019 So Cincinnati for an insightful chat about her rise to the position; working across aisle; managing the divide in her party; being mentored by Marian Spencer; and those hot summer days stripping tobacco., "That's So Cincinnati: Tobacco farming, old scho...," 10 July 2019

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

16 Aug 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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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