tu·​te·​lage ˈtü-tə-lij How to pronounce tutelage (audio)
: instruction especially of an individual
: a guiding influence
a business under the tutelage of a new director
: the state of being under a guardian or tutor
: an act or process of serving as guardian or protector : guardianship
: hegemony over a foreign territory : trusteeship sense 2

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The Latin verb tueri 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 tueri, 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 typically refers to the cost of instruction but which originally referred to the protection, care, or custody 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 The bulk of the film is set in Rome and the cast underwent a boot camp under the tutelage of soccer choreographer Mike Delaney. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 29 Mar. 2024 The majority of the album stays true to Grande’s glossy pop roots under the tutelage of producer Max Martin, who also co-wrote many of the songs with the singer. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 8 Mar. 2024 At Rancho, as everyone refers to the school, the students work under the tutelage of Chris Van Duin, who has taught accounting there for 22 years. Ron Lieber, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2024 My days being on stage under the tutelage of older musicians, while being a student member of the Delta Blues Museum Band, taught me what not to do. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Mar. 2024 After they get expelled from etiquette school for insubordination, the girls find themselves under the tutelage of the infamous Millicent Quibb—a mad scientist with worms in her hair and oysters in her bathtub. Lizz Schumer, Peoplemag, 12 Feb. 2024 Belichick's tutelage of quarterback Mac Jones, a first-round draft pick who showed promise as a rookie but collapsed completely in 2023, belied his reputation as a coaching wizard. Jimmy Golen, USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2024 Smith’s arrival comes after the unit spent two years under the tutelage of Chris Tabor, the team’s interim head coach last year who wasn’t retained this offseason. Alex Zietlow, Charlotte Observer, 8 Feb. 2024 In the near future, A.I. is projected to generate movies on demand, provide tutelage to children, and teach cars to drive themselves. Stephen Witt, The New Yorker, 27 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tutelage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

Time Traveler
The first known use of tutelage was in 1605


Dictionary Entries Near tutelage

Cite this Entry

“Tutelage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tutelage. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tu·​te·​lage ˈt(y)üt-ə-lij How to pronounce tutelage (audio)
: an act of guarding or protecting : guardianship

More from Merriam-Webster on tutelage

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