tutelary

adjective
tu·​te·​lary | \ ˈtü-tə-ˌler-ē How to pronounce tutelary (audio) , ˈtyü- \

Definition of tutelary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having the guardianship of a person or a thing a tutelary goddess
2 : of or relating to a guardian

tutelary

noun
plural tutelaries

Definition of tutelary (Entry 2 of 2)

: a tutelary power (such as a deity)

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Adjective

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.

Examples of tutelary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Even among the eccentric annals of poets who talked to God, angels, tutelary spirits, and disincorporated souls, Fernando Pessoa is a special case. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2021 Even among the eccentric annals of poets who talked to God, angels, tutelary spirits, and disincorporated souls, Fernando Pessoa is a special case. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2021 Even among the eccentric annals of poets who talked to God, angels, tutelary spirits, and disincorporated souls, Fernando Pessoa is a special case. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2021 Even among the eccentric annals of poets who talked to God, angels, tutelary spirits, and disincorporated souls, Fernando Pessoa is a special case. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2021 Even among the eccentric annals of poets who talked to God, angels, tutelary spirits, and disincorporated souls, Fernando Pessoa is a special case. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 7 Oct. 2021 Even among the eccentric annals of poets who talked to God, angels, tutelary spirits, and disincorporated souls, Fernando Pessoa is a special case. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 27 May 2021 In general, rather than tease out a few parallels with her tutelary figures, Bechdel maps their lives closely onto her own. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 3 May 2021 Charles Dickens, whose novels are mentioned several times by narrators, hovers as a kind of tutelary spirit over the book. BostonGlobe.com, 6 May 2021

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

Adjective

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1652, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for tutelary

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The first known use of tutelary was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near tutelary

tutelar

tutelary

Tutelo

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tutelary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tutelary. Accessed 9 Dec. 2021.

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