or ad·vi·sor

[ ad-vahy-zer ]
/ ædˈvaɪ zər /
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See synonyms for: adviser / advisers on Thesaurus.com

one who gives advice.
Education. a teacher responsible for advising students on academic matters.
a fortuneteller.
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of adviser

First recorded in 1605–15; advise + -er1


ad·vis·er·ship, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does advisor mean?

An advisor is a person who gives others advice or guidance.

It can also be spelled adviser, especially in the United Kingdom and in American publications that use Associated Press style. Based on search and corpus data, advisor seems to be becoming more common than adviser.

Advisor is most often used in the context of formal relationships in which someone’s job is to give advice to people, especially academic advisors, political advisors, and financial advisors.

Example: Her academic advisor suggested that she take an extra class so she could graduate on time.

Where does advisor come from?

Advisor has been used to mean “someone who gives advice” since around the 1500s. The noun advisor derives from the verb advise, which comes from the Old French avis, meaning “opinion.” This word comes from the French phrase ce m’est a vis, meaning “that is my impression” or “it seems to me.” At the root of each of these words is the Latin vis, which is based on a verb meaning “to see” and is seen in words like vision.

You want your advisor to see things you don’t see—that’s the whole point of having an advisor. (Whether or not you see eye to eye with your advisor’s advice is another story.) An advisor can be anyone who gives advice. You can consider your close friends advisors if you rely on their advice for big decisions. But the word is most commonly used to refer to formal or professional relationships. Academic advisors advise students about their education, such as by suggesting which classes to take or which career to pursue. Financial advisors help their clients make decisions about investments and how to manage their money. Political advisors give politicians advice to help them make decisions. Of course, sometimes, a professional advisor might also be a friend.

Here’s an exchange from the TV show The West Wing in which the president advises someone about how to choose a chief of staff, which is his top advisor:

“You got a best friend?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Is he smarter than you?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Would you trust him with your life?”
“Yes, sir.”
“That’s your chief of staff.”

Our advice? Choose your advisors wisely.

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What are some other forms related to advisor?

  • adviser (alternate spelling)
  • advise (verb)
  • advisership (noun)

What are some synonyms for advisor?

What are some words that share a root or word element with advisor


What are some words that often get used in discussing advisor?


How is advisor used in real life?

Advisor is most commonly used in formal contexts, such as academia, politics, and finance.



Try using advisor!

Is advisor used correctly in the following sentence?

Her financial advisor helps her manage all of her accounts.

How to use adviser in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for adviser



/ (ədˈvaɪzə) /

a person who advises
education a person responsible for advising students on academic matters, career guidance, etc
British education a subject specialist who advises heads of schools on current teaching methods and facilities
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