Definition of tutelary
- a tutelary goddess
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Tutelary derives from the Latin noun tutelarius, meaning "guardian." "Tutelarius," in turn, was formed by combining the word tutela ("protection" or "guardian") and "-arius," a suffix that implies belonging and connection. A more familiar descendant of "tutela" in English might be "tutelage," which initially described an act or process of serving as a guardian or protector but has also come to refer to teaching or influence. If you suspect that "tutor" is also related, you are correct. "Tutelary" can also be a noun referring to a power (such as a deity) who acts as a guardian.
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