[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. gurney,
  2. gurneyite,
  3. gurrier,
  4. gurry,
  5. gursh,
  6. guru granth,
  7. guru nanak,
  8. guryev,
  9. gus,
  10. gush

Origin of guru

1820–30; < Hindi gurū < Sanskrit guru venerable, weighty

Related formsgu·ru·ship, noun


[ nah-nuh k ]
/ ˈnɑ nək /


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

Examples from the Web for guru

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 fielda cricketing guru
Derived Formsguruship, noun

Word Origin for guru

C17: from Hindi gurū, from Sanskrit guruh weighty


/ (ˈnaːˌnʌk) /


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

Culture definitions for guru


[ (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.