[goo r-oo, goo-roo]


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 formsgu·ru·ship, noun


[nah-nuh k]


Guru, 1469–1539, Indian religious leader: founder of Sikhism. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for guru

tutor, master, teacher, sage, leader, authority, geek, techie

Examples from the Web for guru

Contemporary Examples of guru

Historical Examples of guru

  • 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


  • 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.


    Annie Besant

British Dictionary definitions for guru



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 fielda cricketing guru
Derived Formsguruship, noun

Word Origin for guru

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

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

guru in Culture


[(goor-ooh, goo-rooh)]

In Hinduism, a teacher or spiritual leader.


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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.