tu·​te·​lage | \ ˈtü-tə-lij How to pronounce tutelage (audio) , ˈtyü- \

Definition of tutelage

1a : instruction especially of an individual
b : a guiding influence a business under the tutelage of a new director
2 : the state of being under a guardian or tutor
3a : an act or process of serving as guardian or protector : guardianship
b : hegemony over a foreign territory : trusteeship sense 2

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The Latin verb tuēri means "to look at" or "to guard." When "tutelage" first began appearing in print in the early 1600s, it was used mainly in the protective sense of "tuēri," as writers described serfs and peasants of earlier eras as being "under the tutelage of their lord." Over time, however, the word's meaning shifted away from guardianship and toward instruction. This pattern of meaning can also be seen in the related nouns "tutor" (which shifted from "a guardian" to "a private teacher") and "tuition" (which now refers to the act or profession of teaching or the cost of instruction but originally meant "protection, care, or custody especially as exercised by a parent or guardian over a child or ward").

Examples of tutelage in a Sentence

The company is relying on the tutelage of its new CEO to increase profits. a governess overseeing the tutelage of the family's children
Recent Examples on the Web My experience of Hemingway did not end with Geoffrey’s tutelage. Tobias Wolff, The New Yorker, 20 Feb. 2021 Under Dawson’s tutelage, 39 Kansas State players were drafted by NFL teams, including 10 who were selected in the first two rounds. Iliana Limón Romero, orlandosentinel.com, 19 Feb. 2021 Steven was supposed to start mushing in some races this year under her father’s tutelage, but Joe tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of December. Author: Greg Kim, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Feb. 2021 With his father’s early tutelage in the context of a strictly traditional home, both Yo-Yo and his sister, Yeou-Cheng Ma, developed their talents rapidly from a very young age. Jeremy Eichler, BostonGlobe.com, 27 Jan. 2021 Over the past three seasons, the Rebels went 19-9 and gave up 20 or fewer points 15 times under LaBourdette’s tutelage. Jim Derry, NOLA.com, 22 Dec. 2020 Notre Dame currently ranks 14th in total defense and 12th in scoring defense (17.1 points per game) under Lea’s tutelage. John Talty | Jtalty@al.com, al, 14 Dec. 2020 The opening proves considerably less distinctive, beginning with the 1988 championship bout against Michael Spinks, flashing back to Tyson's rough upbringing before channeling that into boxing under the tutelage of trainer Cus D'Amato. Brian Lowry, CNN, 25 May 2021 Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska denied local media reports saying that unaccompanied Moroccan migrants under 18, who are allowed to remain legally under the tutelage of Spanish authorities, were being deported. Renata Brito And Aritz Parra, USA TODAY, 18 May 2021

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

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for tutelage

Latin tutela protection, guardian (from tutari to protect, frequentative of tueri to look at, guard) + English -age

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Time Traveler for tutelage

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The first known use of tutelage was in 1605

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Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tutelage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tutelage. Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for tutelage



English Language Learners Definition of tutelage

: the teaching of an individual student by a teacher
: an act of guarding or protecting something
: helpful influence or guidance


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