[men-tawr, -ter] /ˈmɛn tɔr, -tər/

a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
an influential senior sponsor or supporter.
verb (used without object)
to act as a mentor:
She spent years mentoring to junior employees.
verb (used with object)
to act as a mentor to:
The brash young executive did not wish to be mentored by anyone.
a wise or trusted adviser or guide
to act as a mentor to (someone); train
the friend whom Odysseus put in charge of his household when he left for Troy. He was the adviser of the young Telemachus

a formal relationship between a student and a professional adult to further the student’s knowledge, skills, or career

“wise advisor,” 1750, from Greek Mentor, friend of Odysseus and adviser of Telemachus (but often actually Athene in disguise) in the “Odyssey,” perhaps ultimately meaning “adviser,” because the name appears to be an agent noun of mentos “intent, purpose, spirit, passion” from PIE *mon-eyo- (cf. Sanskrit man-tar- “one who thinks,” Latin mon-i-tor “one who admonishes”), causative form of root *men- “to think” (see mind (n.)). The general use of the word probably is via later popular romances, in which Mentor played a larger part than he does in Homer.

1888, from mentor (n.). Related: Mentored; mentoring.


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