[men-tawr, -ter]


a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
an influential senior sponsor or supporter.

verb (used without object)

to act as a mentor: She spent years mentoring to junior employees.

verb (used with object)

to act as a mentor to: The brash young executive did not wish to be mentored by anyone.

Origin of mentor

1740–50; after Mentor (< Greek Méntōr)
Related formsmen·tor·ship, noun

Synonyms for mentor




a town in NE Ohio.


[men-tawr, -ter]


(in the Odyssey) a loyal adviser of Odysseus entrusted with the care and education of Telemachus. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mentor

Contemporary Examples of mentor

Historical Examples of mentor

  • Meanwhile her mentor, Mr. Day, was delighted at the interruption of her task.

  • Mrs. Vansittart had no intention of resigning her position of mentor and friend.

    Roden's Corner

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • For once let us be your mentors—you who have always been the mentor of others.

    The Golden Woman

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • "I understand you, and I do not think you silly at all," said her mentor.


    Henry Morford

  • And how could she write fiction with such a one for mentor and company?

    The Nebuly Coat

    John Meade Falkner

British Dictionary definitions for mentor



a wise or trusted adviser or guide


to act as a mentor to (someone); train
Derived Formsmentorial, adjective

Word Origin for mentor

C18: from Mentor



the friend whom Odysseus put in charge of his household when he left for Troy. He was the adviser of the young Telemachus
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 mentor

"wise advisor," 1750, from Greek Mentor, friend of Odysseus and adviser of Telemachus (but often actually Athene in disguise) in the "Odyssey," perhaps ultimately meaning "adviser," because the name appears to be an agent noun of mentos "intent, purpose, spirit, passion" from PIE *mon-eyo- (cf. Sanskrit man-tar- "one who thinks," Latin mon-i-tor "one who admonishes"), causative form of root *men- "to think" (see mind (n.)). The general use of the word probably is via later popular romances, in which Mentor played a larger part than he does in Homer.


1888, from mentor (n.). Related: Mentored; mentoring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper