Word of the Day : December 9, 2012


adjective TOO-tuh-lair-ee


1 : having the guardianship of a person or a thing

2 : of or relating to a guardian

Did You Know?

"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.


The ancient Romans revered certain gods and goddesses as tutelary deities.

"You can see a similar restlessness in the range of C.K.'s influences.... Indie film pioneer John Cassavettes may be another tutelary spirit." - From a review by Adam Wilson in Salon.com, September 25, 2012

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What former Word of the Day begins with "c" and means "edible"? The answer is ...


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