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[goo r-oo, goo-roo] /ˈgʊər u, gʊˈru/
Hinduism. a preceptor giving personal religious instruction.
an intellectual or spiritual guide or leader.
any person who counsels or advises; mentor:
The elder senator was her political guru.
a leader in a particular field:
the city's cultural gurus.
Origin of guru
1820-30; < Hindi gurū < Sanskrit guru venerable, weighty
Related forms
guruship, noun


[nah-nuh k] /ˈnɑ nək/
("Guru") 1469–1539, Indian religious leader: founder of Sikhism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for guru
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The door was open, and they were sentry, for their guru was resting, they said.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • In the summit of our strength, the voice begins to speak—the guru's voice.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • I am told that she said she gave me an answer as directed by her guru.

    The Arena Various
  • Once, too, the guru said as much to me; but then I did not understand.

    The Bridge-Builders Rudyard Kipling
  • He it is who defines the guru's work, He it is who inspires the guru's teaching.

    Avatras Annie Besant
British Dictionary definitions for guru


/ˈɡʊruː; ˈɡuːruː/
a Hindu or Sikh religious teacher or leader, giving personal spiritual guidance to his disciples
(often derogatory) a leader or chief theoretician of a movement, esp a spiritual or religious cult
(often facetious) a leading authority in a particular field: a cricketing guru
Derived Forms
guruship, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Hindi gurū, from Sanskrit guruh weighty


Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for guru

1800, gooroo, from Hindi guru "teacher, priest," from Sanskrit guru-s "one to be honored, teacher," literally "heavy, weighty," from PIE root *gru- (see grave (adj.)). Generalized sense of "mentor" is from 1940; sense of "expert in something" first recorded c.1966 in Canadian English in reference to Marshall McLuhan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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guru in Culture
guru [(goor-ooh, goo-rooh)]

In Hinduism, a teacher or spiritual leader.

Note: By extension, a “guru” is a teacher who attracts disciples or followers.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for guru



  1. A leader, expert, or authority in some field, esp a charismatic or spiritual figure who attracts a devoted following: turning for guidance to such gurus as Paul Goodman and Herbert Marcuse/ That genial guru of the right, Barry Goldwater (1960s+)
  2. A psychiatrist; shrink (1960s+)
  3. A person who aids and supports someone having a psychedelic drug experience (1960s+ Narcotics & counterculture)
  4. A computer expert: when you were with gurus (read: seasoned computer veterans) (1990s+ Computer)

[fr Sanskrit, ''venerable'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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