• synonyms


[too-ter, tyoo-]
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  1. a person employed to instruct another in some branch or branches of learning, especially a private instructor.
  2. a teacher of academic rank lower than instructor in some American universities and colleges.
  3. a teacher without institutional connection who assists students in preparing for examinations.
  4. (especially at Oxford and Cambridge) a university officer, usually a fellow, responsible for teaching and supervising a number of undergraduates.
  5. the guardian of a boy or girl below the age of puberty or majority.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to act as a tutor to; teach or instruct, especially privately.
  2. to have the guardianship, instruction, or care of.
  3. to instruct underhandedly; coach: to tutor a witness before he testifies.
  4. Archaic.
    1. to train, school, or discipline.
    2. to admonish or reprove.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to act as a tutor or private instructor.
  2. to study privately with a tutor.
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Origin of tutor

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin tūtor protector, equivalent to tū- (variant stem of tuērī to guard; see tutelage) + -tor -tor
Related formstu·tor·less, adjectivetu·tor·ship, nounmis·tu·tor, verbsub·tu·tor, nounsub·tu·tor·ship, nounun·der·tu·tor, nounwell-tu·tored, adjective

Synonym study

6. See teach.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

guidance, coaching, tutorial, training, education, tutelage, tutorship

Examples from the Web for tutoring

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I did have a condition in French, and Miss Carter was tutoring me, just as you thought.

    Betty Wales Senior

    Margaret Warde

  • Every one requires some of it, but many must take months of tutoring.

    The Making of a Trade School

    Mary Schenck Woolman

  • But I could live on it, and in any case it was better than slaving at tutoring.

  • My teacher has often said that the reason she has kept on tutoring me is because I look like a sister she once had.


    Grace May North

  • I want some tutoring in Latin, and he said he thought you could take me on.

    Full-Back Foster

    Ralph Henry Barbour

British Dictionary definitions for tutoring


  1. a teacher, usually instructing individual pupils and often engaged privately
  2. (at universities, colleges, etc) a member of staff responsible for the teaching and supervision of a certain number of students
  3. Scots law the guardian of a pupilSee pupil 1 (def. 2)
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  1. to act as a tutor to (someone); instruct
  2. (tr) to act as guardian to; have care of
  3. (intr) mainly US to study under a tutor
  4. (tr) rare to admonish, discipline, or reprimand
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Derived Formstutorage or tutorship, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin: a watcher, from tuērī to watch over
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 tutoring



late 14c., "guardian, custodian," from Old French tutour "guardian, private teacher," from Latin tutorem (nominative tutor) "guardian, watcher," from tutus, variant past participle of tueri "watch over," of unknown origin. Specific sense of "senior boy appointed to help a junior in his studies" is recorded from 1680s.

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1590s, from tutor (n.). Related: Tutored; tutoring.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper