1. the act or function of guiding; leadership; direction.
  2. advice or counseling, especially that provided for students choosing a course of study or preparing for a vocation.
  3. supervised care or assistance, especially therapeutic help in the treatment of minor emotional disturbances.
  4. something that guides.
  5. the process by which the flight of a missile or rocket may be altered in speed and direction in response to controls situated either wholly in the projectile or partly at a base.

Origin of guidance

First recorded in 1765–75; guide + -ance
Related formsnon·guid·ance, nounpre·guid·ance, nounself-guid·ance, noun

Synonyms for guidance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for guidances


  1. leadership, instruction, or direction
    1. counselling or advice on educational, vocational, or psychological matters
    2. (as modifier)the marriage-guidance counsellor
  2. something that guides
  3. any process by which the flight path of a missile is controlled in flightSee also guided missile
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

Word Origin and History for guidances



1530s, "the process of directing conduct," hybrid from guide + -ance; replacing 15c. guying. In reference to direction in school, career, marriage, etc., from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper